It’s been a bit of a rainy day for this open air gig at Somerset House but thankfully the rain has stopped by the time the doors open. Support comes from Dre Island, who sits in the middle of the stage with his keyboards and plays a short Roots Reggae set backed by Chronixx’ band Zincfence Redemption. It’s a laid back support slot until the final song “Uptown Downtown” which benefits from a beefy rhythm produced by man of the moment Wynta James.
There are plenty of red, gold and green flags waving as Chronixx takes to the stage. His band Zincfence Redemption are excellent musicians and get the crowd moving as Chronixx delivers a great set of what are already becoming classic songs.
The huge courtyard at Somerset House (a Tudor palace that Elizabeth I used to live in) is perhaps a fitting place for Chronixx to deliver his lyric in “Capture Land” about “the teefing Queen of England” and it gets a huge cheer. Not surprisingly “Smile Jamaica” also gets a big response and goes down really well, but we also get great uplifting songs like “Here Comes Trouble” which segues straight into “World A Music” by Ini Kamoze.
It’s also good that both Chronixx and Protoje perform “Who Knows” when either of them play live, the song losing none of it’s impact when they don’t get to perform it together. About halfway through the set quiets down as the more laid back songs “They Don’t Know” and “Ain’t No Giving In” are sung, but in general there’s an up tempo feel to the set as a whole.
There’s even a little dancehall segment to the show, with “Clean Like A Whistle” and one of his first songs “Odd Ras” given an airing. Finally, after over an hour of great showmanship and beautifully sung Roots Reggae, he encores with “Tenement Yard”, his nod of respect and appreciation for Jacob Miller and the music of Inner Circle.
A good show, given that it’s hard to get a crowd going in a huge venue like Somerset House, Chronixx alongside contemporaries like Protoje is going from strength to strength.