Sat | Dec 7, 2019

Chalice anchors first One Night Stand - Keyboardist's widow, sisters watch show

Published:Monday | November 5, 2018 | 12:05 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Percussionist Andrew ‘Preggs’ Thompson caught up in the music.
A female patron takes the opportunity to run on stage to dance with Chalice founding member, guitar player and vocalist, Wayne Armond on Saturday night.
Chalice’s Wayne Armond, guitar player and vocalist is an image of cool as he enters the stage for One Night Stand.
Up-and-coming boy band ‘8’ open the evening’s entertainment.
Lead vocalist of Chalice, Dean Stephens, gives the audience the signal to join in with the group during their performance on Saturday for Sparkles Productions’ One Night Stand series at Hope Zoo, St Andrew.
Widow of Mikey Wallace, Karlene Garth (left) joins his sisters Allison (centre) and Leonie Wallace in song during Chalice’s performance at One Night Stand, held at The Serengeti inside Hope Zoo on Saturday.
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The openers for the first staging of One Night Stand at the Hope Zoo on Saturday night were the up-and-coming 8 band, who said that they felt privileged to have warmed the stage for veteran band Chalice. They also got great feedback from the audience, which not only sang and danced along to 8's renditions of the Heptones' Book of Rules and Smile Jamaica by Chronixx, but also grasped the lyrics of their original School Boy Anthem. After a 45-minute set that included covers ranging from The Temptations to The Skatalites and Morgan Heritage to Chronixx, the group, made up of mainly high-schoolers and freshmen in college, said their aim was to watch the show and learn from the legends.

Formed in 1980, Chalice had undergone numerous personnel changes over the years due to the relocation of some members and the death of founding members Mikey Wallace (killed in 1999), Trevor Roper and Robbie Peart, who passed away in 2013 and 2015, respectively, from cancer.

Vocalist and guitar player Wayne Armond, keyboardist Winston 'Alla' Lloyd, and bass player Keith 'Papa Keith' Francis are the survivors of Chalice's original line-up. The band is completed by lead singer Dean Stephens, Wayne 'C-Sharp' Clarke on drums, electronic percussionist Andrew 'Preggs' Thompson, and keyboardist Jerome Tulloch. Popular drummer Desi Jones also plays with the group from time to time.

By the changeover to accommodate Chalice, some of the patrons had already danced the night away. The perceivable difference when the lights came on 15 minutes later was the number of persons present, young and old, with a slight dominance of females at the front of the stage. Some even came equipped with fold-out chairs expecting a long show ahead.

Without wasting time, drummer Clarke sounded off by hitting his drumsticks together and Chalice started their set with Blaze from the 2010 album Let It Play, accompanied with George 'Wildlife', Scott who provided the deejay element to the track. The entertainers did not stray far from the hits, and, as claimed by Allison and Leonie Wallace, twin sisters of Mikey Wallace, the group still performs as it did when their brother was alive.

"It is an emotional experience seeing them now," said Leonie as the last time she got to see Chalice perform live was probably in the early 1990s. Allison was busy reminiscing, saying, "The music has held its ground since 1980, and although the members might be out of sight, they are never out of mind; we listen to the music all the time."

Being especially known for I Still Love You, Stew Peas, Dangerous Disturbances and Good to Be There, those songs were saved for Chalice's encore. "We wanted to give the performance a bit of difference, and that's what leaving tracks like I Still Love You for last did. It was truly amazing and, more important, our audience enjoyed themselves," said Lloyd following the show.

However, the question that weighed heavy on the minds of many of the patrons was whether the group would be releasing a new album anytime soon. Armond communicated to The Gleaner that there will be a relaunch of their album A Song, previously released in 2017 on digital platforms. The album contains 13 of Chalice's popular songs, some collaborations, such as Can't Dub with Tanya Stephens (which the band gave a sample of with Stephens' voice over a mobile phone), Good To Be There with Tarrus Riley, and Stew Peas, featuring Tanto Metro and Devonte.