Saturday, 5 September 2015

Hootananny on Fiyah! Steele & Nesbeth delivering exciting Reggae music

Canada's Steele commanding the stage

If you love Reggae music, pop along to Hootananny, Brixton on a Thursday night and we can guarantee that Reggae vibes will be in full flow. August was quite a month, bringing spectacular international artists of high acclaim, both of whom do far more than stand and deliver! I must say I was excited whilst anticipating these two special nights which both fulfilled their promise.

First we had Steele who literally flew over from Canada for just the one show- to the delight of his UK fans. Steele was sole act for the night and executed a masterful performance treating us to what can only be described as ‘The best of Steele,’ including globally known cover hits, ‘She believes in me,’ and ‘Let’s stay together.’ The key to a successful cover version is when the artist energizes the song in a way that makes their version sound original. Steele manages this effortlessly and has a real fun element to him- listening to Steele’s tracks again now I can really feel his presence in the music in a very personal way. Steele loves being in front of an audience and it was evident he needed a far larger stage upon which to unleash his personality, however he still managed  to generate excellent audience participation, encouraging three ladies to strut their stuff to his latest release, re-mix of Walk Out and Pose (the recently released version features Reggae’s beloved Tippa Irie.)

Nesbeth~ on a kool vibe!

The following Thursday embraced a highly skilled trumpet player from the USA- unfortunately I was unable to catch his name. Edge Michael; nephew of legendary Peter Tosh, also performed.. Headlining the bill we had Nesbeth whom I interviewed last week and subsequently blogged in my series GiveThanks~Feel Joyful- a title that in some ways summarizes Nesbeth’s rise to fame!

Nesbeth lives and breathes concern for his fellow man and being born in Trenchtown Jamaica is strongly tied to his roots, understanding human plight. Nesbeth is in London for three weeks on this his second visit to the UK. Nesbeth has a slight figure with a powerful spirit that flows through his songs, bringing his autobiography to life through thought provoking lyrics and introductory recitals. Nesbeth is loaded with high energy, leaping around effectively punctuating his statements as a form of self expression. His fans were delighted and enjoyed every minute, singing along to his songs and requesting their favourites. Nesbeth sang hits from his existing catalogue and included songs from his current Victory EP. ‘Marijuana’ clearly comes from a place of enlightenment whereas Hunda Lay Lay is a reminder of  Africa's on-going struggles. I think it's fair to say Nesbeth epitomises the true meaning of One Love and goes straight to the root of Roots Reggae.

I am already looking forward to hearing both artists perform live again- whether here or abroad and am in doubt that they will continue climbing the ladder of fame. In the meantime there is much to look forward to at the Hootananny with Britain’s Got Reggae live each month- an excellent talent contest showcasing selected acts who sing three songs each before a panel of judges. Richie Stephens and friends will be live on 8th October, so if you are in London add these events to your diary- the entrance fee is still only £3 which is super reasonable for a highly entertaining evening.

Review of Nesbeth's Victory EP

Jaz McKenzie~ Word Magician!

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