Last night the Hootananny was definitely blazing with a night of Reggae performances for the Bank Holiday Special.
Let’s go straight to the headliner, LT Stitchie who positively buzzes with energy and enthusiasm for his craft- especially the messages he wishes to bestow upon us. Lt Stitchie immerses his core values into the heart of the music, cleverly integrating the two enabling him to deliver in such a unique way that everyone’s attention is captured- always the sign of an outstanding preacher which, combined with his performance skills, puts Lt Stitchie in a class of his own. It was well worth waiting until 3am for his performance! And let me stay in the Lt Stitchie flow and give thanks for obtaining a decent shot- apologies to all other artists but my phone is something else!
Now, back down to earth! Winsome Moncrieffe-Mitchell opened the show with her stunning accapello performance of Mr Vegas, ‘I Am Blessed,’ delivered powerfully with Winsome’s usual clarity. Winsome followed up with, ‘Hurting Me,’ her current release (with co-members of the group Family Love.) Up next we had the somewhat gentler yet engaging tones of Kareem Shabazz, a natural performer and excellent lyricist. Ms Sunrize followed, telling a love story with her three Lover’s rock tracks- soon to be released. To my mind the last act in this set, Sherii Ven Dyer, really stood out with her stage presence, soaring vocals and an exceptional cover of Adele’s, ‘Hello.’
Artists in the second half of the show were backed by The Artist Band. Opened by Glen Sloley singing a couple of his hit songs- 'Lonely Soldier,' 'Lover’s Rock Revival Party,' and recent release, ‘Living in Love.’ Andrew Sloley, Glen's brother, followed, bringing bags of candy for the ladies- what a move! Both gave very good performances. Aleighcia Scott, from Reggae Star Factor gave it her all. Although she sang well, I wasn’t impressed when, having sung over half the song Aleighcia instructed the band to pull up. If you pull up after a few bars that's fine- this adds to the vibe, but over half a song and not in response to audience demand, more at the artist’s whim. I consider this selfish as it cuts into other artists’ time. Due to the amount of pull-ups throughout the evening, the show ran an hour late which is so not good! I also didn't quite get why Aleighcia deviated from Reggae during a Reggae special- I think we already knew she had a powerful voice.
Finally we come to True Identity whose had an excellent start to their set. I was most impressed with their original song about Mama that was written by the trio and this got me thinking. Yes they sing good cover versions, but if you’re called True Identity then be true to yourselves and produce more original songs. This might be a challenge but the results are far more interesting and I imagine give rise to greater satisfaction. I think they would be well advised to explore their musical talents to the max and accelerate, having reached a comfortable platform, possibly taking their career to new heights. Quick mention here to Sarah Tobias who played the sax for the ladies- I have heard Sarah on several occasions and she always delivers- quirky sense of humour too when we have a chance to observe it!
To round off, it was a great conclusion to my year at the Hootananny and I’m looking forwards to 2016!
Jaz McKenzie ~ Word Magician, Poet and Writer. Contact me for a professional review or bio that will be presented in my original, distinctive style to help create YOUR desired image. firstname.lastname@example.org