Adrian Frater, News Editor
Western Bureau:It was an absolutely amazing experience for party fans in Montego Bay last Saturday night at the 'Off Tha Wall' retro party at the scenic Pier One Complex. The event was possibly the most compelling edition in the history of the popular biannual event.
Unlike previous events when the excitement ebbed and flowed, this time around it was non-stop high energy, with patrons dancing and gallivanting from midnight to approximately 4 a.m. The trio of Donavan Dacres, DJ Marvin and promoter/DJ Nash 'Turbo' Lawson did not leave a hit from the 1970s to '90s unplayed.
"In attending Off Tha Wall parties over the past four years, I have never had as much fun as I did tonight," said Sandy Clarke.
"They played every reggae, dancehall, soca, calypso, R&B, disco and pop hit song that you could think about ... . It was just amazing."
With a new location, closer to the sea, on the Pier One compound, the party started with a full moon overhead and a soothing breeze off the sea, giving the venue an intimate feel.
However, as the night progressed and the combination of good music and strong liquor took effect, the venue soon felt like a jam-packed disco.
oldies thrill patrons
Donavan Dacres was the first deejay to take charge at the control tower and he set a blistering pace, digging deep into his armoury for songs from artistes like Black Uhuru, Dennis Brown and Barrington Levy. Of course, patrons were soon jumping to songs like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Revolution and 21 Girls Salute.
When DJ Turbo replaced Donovan Dacres, it was more excitement as he reeled off selections from the likes of Pinchers, Shabba Ranks, Admiral Bailey and Flourgan. Towards the end of his set, he changed the pace brilliantly, going the R&B and pop route, spinning classics from the likes of Gloria Gaynor, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergast and Lionel Richie.
Finding an audience soaking in excitement, DJ Marvin kept the tempo.
When he went into calypso and soca, he almost brought the house down as the revellers, especially the ladies, screamed and all but went crazy with each new song.
With the tempo at fever pitch and the DJs playing in fairly short intervals, it was difficult to determine who was playing as they seemed not to miss a beat.
Heading into 3 a.m. hour, DJ Marvin had the venue under siege when he invited gospel-flavoured reggae into the mix.
In fact, when he played Lloyd Lovindeer's classic, Revival Time, the buckets used for 'bucket deal specials' became tambourines.
At 4 a.m, the lovers were given a treat courtesy of DJ Turbo, who unleashed an avalanche of lovers' rock songs.
Lovers melted into each other's arms like butter, giving graphic demonstrations of pulsating dancehall rub-a-dub.
As the fans gradually began to drift away from the venue, every face carried a look of complete satisfaction.