Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Ram jam Reggae Revival Dubwise

Published:Tuesday | November 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Naomi Cowan
Kabaka Pyramid (right) with a percussionist.
Dubwise audience members taking whatever space they could at Dubwise.
Big One (formerly Biggy of Razz and Biggy at the controls during Dubwise at 10AWest Kings House Road, St Andrew, on Saturday night.
Chronixx, the central figure at Dubwise on Saturday evening.
Audience members at Saturday night's Dubwise.
Chronixx (left), Dre Island (centre) and Protoje on stage at Dubwise, held on Saturday night at 10A West Kings House Road, St Andrew.

On Saturday, Yaadcore, founder of the prolific Dubwise series, managed to congregate the majority of those performers we have come to know as the Reggae Revivalists - and then some.

The promise of Chronixx as the evening's toastmaster galvanised the participation of a variety of performers who took to the stage, offering their most popular contemporary verses along with some scintillating freestyles.

The gates opened at 9 p.m. to a diverse audience of millennials, tourists and baby boomer reggae aficionados. The rock steps of 10A West Kings House Road became a continuous stream of descending bodies to a space that became uncomfortably tight in no time.

The set lights cast a hue of orange and green over the crowd, people's attention split between the stage, the bar and rolling their cannabis spliffs. Some forward-thinking patrons arrived with their portable folding chairs in hand, as though prepared for a stage show. Although the venue's space did not allow for comfortable seating, especially after Chronixx arrived on the scene, the atmosphere of the event did evolve into a collective demonstration of local millennial reggae and dancehall performers.

Selectors Lion Trod, Yaadcore and Big One (formerly Biggy of Razz and Biggy) manned the music deck until the Smile Jamaica singer appeared and began singing into the microphone. Opening with the sensational Skankin' Sweet, Chronixx toasted, danced and freestyled for approximately half an hour, before calling his colleagues on stage.

The first of the lot was Dre Island, whose performance began with an uproar from the audience. Protoje and Kabaka Pyramid followed, taking their turn at the mic to similar reception.

Kelissa, Keznamdi and Jah9 also joined their peers on stage, the microphone quickly changing hands as they closed their impromptu verses and choruses. Newcomers Runkus, Royal Blu, Leno Banton, Koro Fyah, Ras I-Emmanuel and Naomi Cowan also showed their chops. Fellow youngster Lila Ike presented a freestyle of her latest single Gotti Gotti, and enjoyed cheers much like the uproar for her seniors."The baddest artiste dem inna Jamaica are here right now," Chronixx announced, while the stage brimmed with singers and deejays.

In an exciting turn of events, Chronixx shifted the focus of the event. Moments before the clock struck 2 a.m., dancehall sensation Popcaan stormed the stage to perform Dre Island's We Pray (a single on which he is featured).