25 years of dancehall Odyssey
Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
Reggae and dancehall fans came out in their numbers to support Bass Odyssey's 25th anniversary sound system festival, held on Friday night at Plantation Cove, Richmond, St Ann.
The large turnout was expected for a sound system line-up of host sound Bass Odyssey, along with Kilamanjaro, Stone Love, Metro Media, Renaissance, and Sentinel from Germany. There was also a live performance by Cocoa Tea.
The music fans appeared to have thoroughly enjoyed the festival even though the boxes could have been better arranged as most persons were forced to stand behind the extensive arc of heavy-duty speakers that pumped out the drum and bass heavy music.
It was Stone Love, eliciting a huge response from a special of Buju Banton's Driver, that took the crowd across the midnight border before turning over to Sentinel, the 2005 World Clash champions. The German sound ignited the crowd with several pro-ganja songs, including Sugar Minott's Herbman Hustling.
Sky Juice, the legendary selector from Metro Media, treated all to a show, the crowd hanging on to every word he said before becoming euphoric as music followed the introductions.
It would have been difficult for any sound system immediately following Sky Juice to make an impact, but being the legendary outfit that it is, Kilamanjaro held its own and even invited Sky Juice to select a few songs during their set.
When host sound Bass Odyssey started playing, the crowd response indicated that despite all that had gone on before, the real show had just begun. The two-time World Clash champions paid homage to their late selector, Squingy, which Sky Juice had also done previously.
Bass Odyssey introduced Cocoa Tea during their set, and the reggae crooner sang a line each from two of his hit tunes to electrify the crowd. He was to return later for a full performance.
Guinness, Pepsi, and LIME were among the major sponsors of this year's Bass Odyssey anniversary celebrations. Pepsi promoted Adrenaline Red Fire, with red-clad girls serving samples of the energy drink. For patrons who wanted something stronger, there were Guinness bucket deals.
LIME, continuing its cell phone giveaways from last year's staging, gave away over 50 instruments. According to vice president of marketing, Carlo Redwood, it was worth the effort.
"Bass Odyssey is a sound system that we've been sponsoring over a couple of events since last year, so we have to be involved with it," said Redwood. "We have to have our presence in St Ann, and this was the best way to do it."
Bass Odyssey's owner, Keith Walford, was pleased with the celebration. "It went very well. Perhaps there were one or two little kinks to iron out, like how the boxes were turned, but the turnout was good," Walford said.
I'm very happy with how it went. I would like to thank all who turned out to support our 25th anniversary festival, and next year will be better," he promised.