Mon | Sep 23, 2019

‘An honour and a blessing’ - Maxi Priest lauds Appleton after superb performance at National Rum Day concert

Published:Tuesday | August 20, 2019 | 12:24 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
Headliner Maxi Priest performing at Appleton Estate’s National Rum Day celebrations at Murray’s Chillin’ in Clarendon on Friday night.
If patrons had paid an admission fee, it would have been safe to say they got their money’s worth.
‘Glory to God’ singer Wayne Marshall delivered an entertaining set.
Maxi Priest in his element.
New Kidz got the chance to showcase his talent after he was called on stage by Maxi Priest.
DeMoya did a cameo with Maxi Priest.
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Internationally renowned recording artiste Maxi Priest promised a memorable performance at Friday night’s National Rum Day free concert hosted by Appleton, and he delivered.

In a scintillating one-hour set, the singer thrilled hundreds inside Murray’s Chillin in Clarendon as he served up one timeless hit after the next.

The stage was just as hot as the jerked delights on sale, and patrons could not get enough of either. A nostalgic aura filled the venue as Maxi Priest performed songs such as Wild World, Close to You, Just a Little Bit Longer and Housecall.

The veteran reggae star gave emerging artistes DeMoya and New Kidz a platform to show off their talent and they gave good accounts of themselves.

The event’s other headliner, Wayne Marshall, was entertaining. The Glory to God singer served up a host of all-time favourites and had the audience rocking to his every word.

Maxi Priest, who was making his first appearance on home soil since Reggae Sumfest last year, described the oportunity to perform for his countrymen as an honour and a blessing.

Appreciation for ‘home’

“This is home for me and to perform for your people and get a response and an appreciation like this, I don’t think you can ask for anything more,” he said.

“I feel so good to be a part of this. Appleton has been around a long, long time and for them to show some appreciation for the people and give back, it’s always a good thing. There is so much more that can be done, but a free concert in Clarendon is awesome,” he added.

If patrons had paid an admission fee, it would be safe to say they got their money’s worth. For the quality of the entertainment dished out free of cost, it would come as no surprise if Appleton decided to attach an entrance fee to the music series come 2020.

But, the rum giants say they have no interest in charging an admission fee for the show. Telecia Lindo Johnson, marketing manager at Appleton Estate, told The Gleaner that although the show has seen tremendous growth this year, it is their way of giving back to the people who have supported them wholeheartedly throughout the years.

“A lot of people turned out. Wayne Marshall has been trending and Maxi Priest hasn’t performed since last year. Where do you go to see them for free? Appleton Estate, National Rum Day,” she said.

“We had a bigger stage this year and we expanded the space so it could hold more this year and we’re really overwhelmed by the support.

“Charge or don’t charge? The reality is that when the brand gets a chance to really give back and celebrate the people who have been consuming our products, we really take that opportunity and we run with it.

“We have been doing this marriage of rum and reggae music for a while now and it’s working.”