Two of Reggae’s versatile old school deejays touch down in Brighton tonight.
First up is Yellowman, who comes bounding onto the stage to a warm Concorde welcome and launches straight into his best known song “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng”. Based on the Alton Ellis rhythm “Mad, mad, mad”, it’s gets a huge cheer and the following singalong is loud and raucous. King Yellowman never stops moving, hopping on one leg, running on the spot, running back and forth across stage. It’s the original Reggae workout set to great music and this sort of boundless energy goes down well with the enthusiastic crowd. He chats over various rhythms, getting his selecter to change the tune whenever he wants to change up the pace, all the time keeping up his energetic skanking workout. Finally, he performs “Yellowman getting married” to the tune of “I’m getting married in the morning” and Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill” before thanking us and leaving the stage. Great to see him still doing his thing and looking in great shape after his cancer related health problems.
U Roy started out on King Tubby’s Home Town Hi Fi sound but has run the King Stur Gav sound for over forty years and is a selecter in his own right. His sound is named as an abbreviation of his own name and his sons, St for Stewart, U for U-Roy and Gav for Gavin.
He’s brought along General Trees and Little Twitch, a couple of deejays from the Stur Gav sound, as his main vocalists while he presides over the selections. Probably a sore point with most of the crowd as he only occasionally grabs the mic to deliver that classic U-Roy vocal. Perhaps people were unaware that he’s run his sound system for as long as he has and expected him to be on the microphone more. The other two deejays are great though, both of them are lively and funny, interacting well with the crowd and keeping the show moving.
It’s U-Roy who gets the biggest cheers whenever he ventures to the front of the stage and grabs the mic, so this confirms that people were expecting him to be stage front most of the time. All in all it’s a good show, deejaying in the old school Jamaican sense of the word, always great to see and jump up to.