Hapless Cowboy at Essence - Ernest Wilson turns in good showing
Sadeke Brooks, Staff Reporter
Only Ernest Wilson was able to provide some level of entertainment at The Essence on Tuesday evening, as the main act, Cowboy, struggled to remember his lines and sing on the beat.
As Cowboy and Friends Live was held at King's Plaza, Constant Spring Road, St Andrew, there were off-key singers for most of the night. At some time after 10 p.m., a dreadlocked man was singing at the top of his voice, which was something of an indication of what was to be expected for the rest of the night.
As the dreadlocked man exited the stage, Ernest Wilson was introduced. "A di best part of the show dis. After dis done, mi can go home," a man puffing on a spliff said as Wilson took the stage. The baritone singer lived up to expectations as he delivered Barry White's Practise What You Preach, earning screams from the women and whistles from the men.
The rotund singer, wearing a cowboy hat and red basketball jersey, danced across the stage. He had the mature audience members singing along to songs like Otis Redding's Dreams To Remember and Teddy Pendergass' Love TKO. Wilson then left the stage, but returned to sing Money Worries, which he said he wrote at 16 years old.
"You just see the best part of the show," another man said, laughing, as Wilson exited the stage.
It was true. A male singer, Chin, got a taste of the stage and was followed by Andrew Green, who seemed intent on singing as many songs as he could before being told to leave. After singing high-pitched versions of Michael Jackson's Human Nature and Bob Marley's Coming In From The Cold, he finally made way for Cowboy.
The tall Cowboy, dressed in white pants and vest, boots and a cowboy hat, was far from impressive, as he sang his country and western songs at a different tempo from his backup singers. "If mi did know seh a dis, Jah know," one patron said, shaking his head during Cowboy's performance.
And, as Cowboy sang, his body moved at a different pace from the song. He tried to dance, but was rather lacklustre and completely off the rhythm in most instances. Unlike the previous performances, he received no applause and some patrons left the venue. Others simply held their heads in amazement while looking at Cowboy onstage struggling to remember his lines.
As his performance progressed, the very tolerant audience members freed themselves of Cowboy's lack of clarity and awkward movements. But firmly seated at the front of the stage were five men with video cameras, tablets and phones, wearing vests marked 'Cowboy's Paparazzo', who seemed to be enjoying every bit of his set.
The more he went on, Cowboy was off-key, completely off the beat, and missed his cue to start the songs. "A talk him a talk?" one patron questioned as Cowboy continued to sing.