Fun on the Beach proves to be a treat
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
It was almost pitch-black Sunday when singer Della Manley completed an acoustic rendition of Junior Byles' Fade Away at the Greenwich Town Fishing Village. It seemed a fitting conclusion to the Let's Go Have Some Fun on the Beach show.
The diminutive Manley, with her trademark oversized guitar, was one of several performers who appeared at the event which was staged to help improve the largely dilapidated infrastructure of the fishing complex.
Manley's poignant performance of the Heptones' Book of Rules and Fade Away earned her an encore which she obliged with I Know, the hit song from her Barbican Square album, which she did with Mutabaruka.
The show featured an all-star roots cast, many of whom figured in the musical revolution that took place in Greenwich Town during the 1970s.
Singer Johnny Clarke, a leading figure in that movement, stood out with robust renditions of None Shall Escape The Judgement, Move Outa Babylon and Rock With Me, three of the songs that made him one of the period's leading hitmakers.
Linval Thompson was also in good form, drawing strong response from the 1,000-strong crowd when he did the dance favourites Ease Up and Train to Zion. Bernard Collins and the Abyssinians fared well with the apt This Land and the 1969 roots anthem Satta Masa Gana.
Musical hot spot
Bob Andy, Tappa Zukie, Suzanne Couch, Greenwich Town mainstays Prince Allah and Phillip Fraser, the Silvertones, Harry Toddler, Donovan Joseph and Skully Simms also performed.
Though racked by poverty and political violence, Greenwich Town was a musical hot spot 35 years ago when artistes such as Clarke and fellow singer Cornel Campbell had a series of hit songs for producer Bunny Lee.
Let's Go Have Some Fun on the Beach was held six months after an acid spill from the nearby Industrial Chemicals Company Jamaica Limited (ICC) complex killed hundreds of fish and threatened the livelihood of more than 100 fisherfolk who are based at the village.
Minister of Agriculture Christopher Tufton told The Gleaner recently that his office is currently discussing compensation for the 'fishers' with Alkali Limited, owners of ICC.