Adrian Frater, News Editor
The 2012 staging of Western Consciousness is more than a month away but promoter Worrell King is already grinning from ear to ear as he has landed one of reggae's premier acts, the dazzling crooner Beres Hammond.
"Yeah, man ... me have Beres ... Beres sign," an elated King told The Gleaner earlier this week.
"Except for Buju, Beres is the artiste the fans request the most when I am putting together the line-up each year. I am just happy that I will be able to satisfy the fans."
When Hammond reports for the popular one-night show, which will be staged on Saturday, April 14 at Paradise Park near Savanna-la-Mar in Westmoreland, it will be his sixth appearance in the 24-year history of the event.
In addition to Hammond, King has also signed fellow reggae icons Marcia Griffiths, Big Ship captain Freddie McGregor, veteran deejay Charlie Chaplin, the messenger Luciano, the fireman Capleton and the velvet-smooth Duane Stephenson.
The show, which is being staged under the theme 'Impacting Reggae's New Generation', also features an impressive array of emerging stars, vying to become household names in the music.
That list includes Romain Virgo, Jah Vinci, Khago, Iba Mahr, Droop Lion, House of Leeds' recording artiste Iyablazze, Prophesy, I Noah and emerging female standouts Jah9 and Stream.
"This is going to be a real test for the younger acts as they are thrown in against the real giants, and I am sure they will want to show their worth," said King. "For the fans, it will be the best of both worlds."
However, it should be noted that the excitement does not stop with the long list of Jamaica-based acts, as according to promoter King there will also be a massive British invasion.
"We are going to have a British invasion featuring the legendary King Sounds and Levi Roots, two of the real reggae giants on the European circuit," said King. "Levi Roots will be coming with a full band so you can expect some real authentic roots/rock/reggae ... I am just as excited as the average fan."
As is customary, King's impressive backing band SANE (Sounds Against Negative Expression) will be the main backing band. However, they will be complemented by the dazzling C Sharp and Uprising Roots bands.
The show, which will have Cordel Green, DJ Linkage and Isis Miller as the MCs, has Courts Jamaica Limited, Big Ship Promotions, New York's Linkage Radio, House of Leeds, and Irie FM as the main sponsors.