A good double bill of Reggae on here tonight at the Brighton Dome kicked off by Mr. Romeo. 63 year old Max Romeo is a veteran of the Roots Reggae scene, and has long since moved on from the innuendo led songs like “Wet Dream” that brought him notoriety in the late 60’s.
The band for tonight are going to back both musicians and we also have UK dub producer Arian Sherwood on the mixing desk at the rear of the venue, arguably the man who (alongside the Mad Professor) helped revive Lee Perry’s career when they worked together in the mid-eighties.
It’s good to see a reggae band (or any band or that matter) made up of men and women, the women playing bass, keyboards, trumpet and on backing vocals while the men are on drums, rhythm and lead guitar and saxophone. The play a tight but mellow rootsy groove that’s perfect for backing the smooth vocals of Max Romeo. He looks trim, fit and dapper in peach coloured trouses and shirt as he takes us through a selection of his music from over the years.
Stand out tracks are “Three blind mice” and “War ina babylon” and of course his excellent and timeless classic “I chase the devil” which has been well sampled over the years. He encores with a fast Ska tune that gets everyone grooving and leaves the stage to great cheers. A support slot that could have been the headline act for it’s degree of showmanship and great songs.
The Upsetter, 75 year old Lee “Scratch” Perry, takes to the stage wearing a mirrored baseball cap, little mirrors on his jacket and mirrors on his trousers and boots. He’s always been a bit eccentric and people tend to focus on this rather than his musical contributions. Leaving that aside, I actually like his brand of nonsensical chatting over classic rhythms. He plays to the crowd and is a decent showman. It’s entertaining and great to dance to, you can’t ask for much more than that.
The documentary about Lee Sratch Perry: