Gem Myers, Food Kartel dazzle at 'Nyammins'
Adrian Frater, News Editor
The heavy rains which drenched the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, in Montego Bay did not dampen the enthusiasm of veteran songbird Gem Myers and red-hot deejay Food Kartel, as they both ruled supreme in the entertainment section of the Heroes Day staging of the Nyammins & Jammins Food Festival.
With I-Octane and Laden, who had top billing, both failing to spark; and others such as Singing Jewel, gospel singers Kavel, Medikal and Digicel Rising Stars winner Dalton and first runner-up Camaley just doing enough, the stage was basically set for Gem Myers and Food Kartel to dominate, and they did.
The evergreen Gem Myers was all composure as she took patrons down memory lane, reeling off a string of Jamaican classics in the process.
Songs such as, Shame On You, First Cut, Baby Be True, Breakfast In Bed and One Man Girl got star treatment, as she rocked and grooved with consummate ease.
Called for an encore, the elegant Gem Myers took up where she left off, slicing effortlessly through hits such as, Girls Wanna Have Fun, Jump For My Love and All My Love to Give, which not only demonstrated her class but again lifted the appreciative fans into a fresh bout of ecstasy.
A mark well made
Food Kartel, who has been creating a storm on the western front in recent times, took to the stage in front of an audience left in high spirits by Gem Myers' set.
In his no-nonsense style, he simply kept them there with his comical food-based lyrics, which drew arguably the strongest response of the night.
The bulky Food Kartel, clad in chef's cap and apron, had to 'pull up' several times, as the decibel levels emanating from the crowd reached deafening levels. The lyrics of songs such as, Brown Stew Fish, Food Letter, Thirteen Corn, Syrup and Lasco and A Nuh Wah Me Cook, left smiles in the crowds, and screams piercing the air. The artiste made his mark.
Medikal, the singing doctor, delivered a set laced with classics from the late Dennis Brown, and he got the stamp of approval from the fans. Songs like, Stay At Home, Should I and For You, were expertly delivered. He pretty much sealed the deal with Maxi Priest's, Little Bit More and his original song, I Will Be There.
I-Octane and Laden both seemed in a big rush to complete their respective sets and were in and out of the venue in short order.
I-Octane did generate some interest with songs like, My Life, Little Bit a Time, Mamma You Alone and All Kind of Things, which he offered as an encore.
Laden rushed through his set with, Programme We, Nine to Five and his big hit, Shine.
Dalton and Camaley brought back memories of this year's Digicel Rising Stars competition, using their familiarity to generate a fair amount of energy. Camaley was excellent on, Redemption Song, Etana's Free and her own, Iron Balloon. Dalton was quite smooth in his compelling deli-very of songs such as, Here I Am and Tell Me Why.
Singer Serita played a short but compelling set, leaving very little doubt about her vocal power. Her delivery of the thought-provoking, Inna Yu Bed, was one of the signature moments of the night.
While the gospel acts failed to measure up to the gospel acts of former years, Kavel did have his moment with the hilarious Simon; and the visually challenged Ann-Marie Laing and the lanky Ryan Mark did enough to keep gospel on the radar of the annual festival.