Wanted: More Tosh music

Wanted: More Tosh music

Observer senior reporter

Monday, October 21, 2019

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Despite the strong line-up of acts at this year's Peter Tosh Music Festival, held at the Pulse Centre in New Kingston on Saturday, the event lacked the spark that was evident at previous stagings of the event.

This year marked the fourth year that the concert was being held to celebrate the life, work, and most importantly the music of the late reggae icon. Though a formidable cast was brought together to entertain, and while they did, the energy of the previous editions of this festival was noticeably missing. The major difference was that the artistes were not required to perform music by Tosh.

The headliner, Tosh's own son Andrew Tosh, was the only act to bring some of the palpable vibe from earlier shows, with his likeness in voice and mannerism being such huge drawing cards. Andrew Tosh would offer the only strong representation of the man and his music for the entire night.

From his opening notes, with Buckingham Palace, he would set the tone for his three sets which were spaced throughout the programme. This first set would also include his father's Legalize It and I'm The Toughest.

Throughout the night he would offer more of his father's work

His second set was dubbed 'Rebirth of The Wailers' and for this he drew on Ky-Mani Marley, the son of Bob Marley. Both joined their voices to offer two tracks Lessons in My Life and Get Up, Stand Up, which were well received by the audience which assembled in the courtyard of the Pulse complex.

The final set saw the younger Tosh sharing more anthems, including African, Equal Rights and Justice, Downpresser Man, Don't Look Back, Johnny Be Good, Rastafari Is, and Burial. These all brought the audience to their feet.

Aside from Tosh, only two of the other acts offered any of the music of the man being celebrated. Duane Stephenson dropped a spirited version of Glass House into his set. This was in addition to his popular tracks such as Real Ghetto Pain, August Town and Cottage in Negril. Richie Spice followed with Tosh's Mawga Dog among his much-loved tunes, including Earth A Run Red, Ghetto Girl and Groovin My Girl.

The other performers were entertaining on their way, but failed to drop a Tosh track into their set.

Roots reggae chanter Samory I brought his brand of music to the space and was well received. The smooth-singing Rasta was in his element as he shared his catalogue including Rasta Nuh Gangsta from his début album Black Gold. It was the same for Warrior King, who engaged his audience with his own catalogue.

There is never a dull moment when the veteran Ken Boothe is on stage, and he had the attention of his audience when started his string of hits from yesteryear. Time has been great to Boothe, who sounded fresh on each track.

Singer Bushman was the night's no-show. Seen by many as a successor to Tosh in terms of voice quality, many were looking forward to hearing him on some of the music by Tosh. It was Andrew Tosh who made the announcement.

“I feel a little dull not having Bushman on stage with me tonight, but that's just how it is, and we just have to move on,” He told the audience.

“I am overwhelmed with joy this evening at the love being shown by Jamaicans for Peter Tosh. I am grateful,” he shared.

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