Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Handful of Extravaganza closers

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
I-Octane in full flight.
Gully Bop (left), listens as Ninja Man makes a point on stage at GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza on Friday night at Independence Park, Black River, St Elizabeth.
Freddie McGregor
Mr Kool

Western Bureau:

Dancehall veterans, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man once again joined forces, and along with Sizzla, Popcaan, and Nesbeth, brought the curtains down on the 15th GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza, which ended on the morning of Boxing Day at Independence Park, Black River, St Elizabeth. Advertised as 360 degrees of dance, reggae, and dancehall presentations, the concert lived up to its billing.

The combined close was not the organiser's initial plan. The five deejays were brought together as a consequence of the time allotted for later performances being severely restricted, but the concert could hardly have ended any better.

Dressed in his customary black, Bounty Killer raised the event's tempo and brought life back to the tired legs of the hundreds of patrons, who, in between several great performances, had to endure Ishawna's misfit set. It was clear she was either out of her depth or simply trying too hard in a failed bid to please the crowd.

Bounty Killer launched into his string of songs, adding social commentary to make his point. "We poor but we nah turn no body whore," he said as he castigated the Government for its treatment of the poor.

That lit up Independence Park and the crowd got more engaged with Bounty's performances before the entire venue erupted as the Warlord called on stage his one-time nemesis Beenie Man. "Whe me partner in crime deh? Whe me partner in crime deh?" Bounty demanded.

And so began a lyrical trade-off that left patrons in awe as the two reeled off a long string of hits to please their fans. If that was not enough, they were joined by Popcaan and Sizzla then Nesbeth, who did his track My Dream, the five taking turns at the microphone.

Earlier, singer Freddie McGregor flowed with Africa Here I Come, To Be Poor Is A Crime, Prophecy, Push Come To Shove, and And So I'll Wait For You, among several other songs.

His stint set the tone for Romain Virgo, who delivered a workmanlike shift as a prelude to Ninja Man and Gully Bop's time on stage. The two lived up to expectations with several witty pieces, as they matched each other's ability to make tunes on the spot.

The wildly popular I-Octane left the audience wanting more after taking the stage at 2 a.m. for a spitfire 15-minute set, the deejay ripping into his substantial catalogue to please the crowd.

Bugle, Anthony Cruz, and I-Wayne also sparked, while the lesser-known Mr Kool showed class and style in his 10 minutes on stage.

Main organiser/producer of the Extravaganza, GT Taylor, was honoured for his outstanding service to the development of the local music industry.