Strong sets at Stars R Us
Leroy Sibbles

DESPITE not getting a full house, Marvin "Horseman" Pitterson — promoter of Stars R Us — is pleased with Saturday night's staging of the event, which was returning after a two-year hiatus.

Stars R Us was held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew.

"I am pleased with the performances, definitely. Every act that went up did very well," Pitterson told the Jamaica Observer. "I think Gem Myers was the evening's standout. From the first song to the last, she never made a mistake; she went right in front and never looked back."

Stars R Us lived up to its billing with a line-up of vintage artistes that, by themselves, could headline their own show. Heavyweights including Leroy Sibbles, Ken Boothe, Johnny Clarke, Derrick Morgan, and George Nooks, all took to the stage as part of the lengthy programme, thankfully following the trend of never overstaying their welcome, despite audience demands. Each thanked the happy fans, exclaiming their joy of being back in front of an appreciative crowd.

Gem Myers performs on Stars R Us held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew on Saturday night.Photos: Karl Mclarty

The lone lady on the show, Gem Myers, would best be described as a standout in such a line-up. No easy accomplishment given the quality of the acts around her. Myers took to the stage early in the morning and never looked back, reviving the energy the crowd had lost during the band change. With her distinctive voice piercing the night air, she captured the audience using a steady stream of her renditions of vintage soul and reggae hits. From Dawn Penn's No No No, to her own One Man Woman, she left the stage to thunderous applause.

She was followed by Big Youth, who was up to the challenge of keeping the crowd engaged as the clock crossed over the 1:00 am mark. The veteran deejay's set featured familiar songs Cool Breeze, S90, Hit the Road Jack, among others, which was bolstered by his infectious over animated dancing and occasional random flashes of his gold teeth.

As icons in the Jamaican music all the performers brought their signature style to the night. For example, George Nooks took his set to its natural religious conclusion, reeling off his gospel theme hits such as God Is Standing By. Ken Boothe's tones had the audience standing and singing along to his deep back catalogue of songs, including The Train Is Coming and Everything I Own. The remaining acts, including Wesrok, all had their moment to shine, and did so for all the fans wanting to welcome back this genre of Jamaican music to the live stage.

Big Youth
Johnny Clarke
George Nooks
Ken Boothe
Dennis Walks
A section of the audience attending Stars R Us held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew on Saturday.
BY RORY DALEY Observer writer

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