Support comes from David “Ram Jam” Rodigan, long time veteran Reggae DJ who warms up the crowd with a variety of classic tunes. His good natured and enthusiastic interjections gets the crowd moving as the open courtyard of Somerset House slowly fills up.
Next up is the singer Black Am I, part of the Ghetto Youth International set up that Damien Marley is involved in. He sings “Black Am I” and “Living Dread”, two conscious and rootsy songs that server as a good opener for the main event.
Damien Marley’s band take to the stage and play a short instrumental. They’re made up of drums, bass, lead guitar, two keyboard players and two female backing singers as well as a kind of ‘Rasta Bez’ figure whose sole purpose is to wave a huge red, gold and green flag above his head for the entire performance, good stamina!
The band then begin the booming intro to “Make It Bun Dem” and Marley comes bounding onto the stage to a sea of the now obligatory phone cameras held aloft. He then launches into “Confrontation” and from there we get a great run down of songs from his previous albums. His fourth album “Stony Hill” is out now and from this the band plays “Medication”, “Nail Pon Cross” and “Caution”.
There’s a touching moment halfway through the set when Damien and the band launch into some of his father’s songs, with “Is This Love” prompting an enthusiastic audience sing along. The two backing dancers also execute some nifty dance moves during the performance of “Exodus”.
Throughout the set he keeps the crowd engaged, a really good front man delivering an entertaining set. They encore with his monster hit “Welcome To Jamrock” which still sounds epic considering it was released in 2005 and that’s the end of the show as we reach the curfew at 23.00.
Gigs at Somerset House during their annual “Summer Series” programme of events are always worth attending. The former Tudor palace is a great location for gig going
and with artists of Damien Marley’s calibre you’ll be guaranteed an entertaining spectacle.