Pickney Love at Christmas draws packed house
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Pegasus hotel's ballroom was at capacity for the 11th staging of JMMB's Pickney Love at Christmas.
The annual event helps to raise funds for the children of the Dare To Care homes in the Mustard Seed Communities.
From the outset, it was clear that patrons were looking forward to the entertainment package.
Backed by the Fab 5 band, the star-studded line-up, which included reggae, dancehall and gospel segments, certainly lived up to the expectations of the patrons.
Following the national anthem, the JMMB Group Chorale and the Wolmer's Prep School kicked off the proceedings with Welcome to Pickney Love, followed by Bob Marley's timeless hit single One Love.
Ramone Watson, winner of the Junior Gospel Competition, also wowed the audience with his renditions of He's Still On Time, along with a medley of uptempo songs.
The cheers and applause he received were indicative of what was to come.
Emcees Elva and François St Juste also brought laughter to the stage. Elva's witty quips and jokes were a hit with the audience.
The Untouchable Dance Squad also paid tribute to Jamaica's 50th year of Independence. The group's comedic dance version of My Boy Lollipop, Sammy Dead Oh and Peel Head Johncrow had the audience panting for more.
The Wolmer's Dance Troupe, gospel singer Omari and Wayne Armond (from the group Chalice) also produced a masterful set.
Dr Michael Abrahams, a staple on the Ity and Fancy Cat Show, was also in top form. The hugely comical singer also delivered a rap version of the dire state of Jamaica's financial affairs, and the audience could not get enough.
Pam Hall delivered a phenomenal set. Reeling off hits such as Perfidia, the crowd was in for a treat with her soothing voice.
It was, however, Roy Rayon who amped up the crowd. Love Fever, Another One Come and his hugely popular hit Give Thanks and Praises had the audience begging for encores.
Mr Festival himself, Eric Donaldson, had fans singing along to hits such as Cherry Oh Baby and This Is The Land Of My Birth.
It was definitely Romain Virgo who took the night at this year's staging of the event. His two singles, System and his rendition of Adele's Don't You Remember, brought everybody to their feet and had them singing along. Virgo had the ladies swooning throughout his energetic set.
Mr Vegas also delivered a riveting performance. Departing from his usual reggae/dancehall set, Vegas instead used the medium to deliver gospel songs. I am Blessed, Oh When The Saints and What A Mighty God were just some of the songs that had persons on their feet and dancing.
Leroy 'Heptones' Sibbles was the last man to perform, and usually that is a scary proposition after a long night. However, his performance was still well received, and nobody wanted to leave.