Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Inner Circle

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Contributed Bernard Harvey (left), Roger Lewis (seated), Lancelot Hall (front) and Ian Lewis of Inner Circle

Since forming in 1968, Inner Circle has had its share of detractors. Some criticised the band for sounding too 'foreign', others wrote them off after the loss of key members.

Guitarist and founding member Roger Lewis, is used to the negative comments. He enjoys proving the naysayers wrong.

"When key members left in 1993, a lot of people wrote us off, but we found Jacob Miller, the people's singer, and helped develop a great talent," Lewis said.

Inner Circle is scheduled to make one of its rare Jamaican appearances at the January 16-17 Rebel Salute, which takes place at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann.

The group's last date in Jamaica was at the 2006 Rebel Salute.

Next month's show honours Miller, the charismatic singer, who led Inner Circle on several of its hit songs including Tenement Yard and Tired fe Lick Weed Ina Bush.

Lewis and his younger brother, bass player Ian Lewis, are the only original members in Inner Circle. Keyboardist Bernard 'Touter' Harvey, has been with the band for over 40 years.

Popular reggae songs

When co-founders Stephen 'Cat' Coore and Ibo Cooper left to start Third World in 1973, Roger Lewis said many doubted Inner Circle had the goods to continue. It was the same reaction when Miller died in a motor vehicle accident in March, 1980 at age 27.

Inner Circle responded by scoring two of the most popular reggae songs of the last 25 years - Bad Boys and Sweat (A La La La La Long) - which helped the group win the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1994.

Inner Circle, whose other members are singer Errol 'Skatta' Bonnick and drummer Lancelot Hall, recently completed tours of Europe.