Adrian Frater, News Editor
With one of reggae's premier artistes, the inimitable Coco Tea, belatedly joining the star-studded line-up, the 2013 staging of Western Consciousness is poised to unfold in a blaze of glory tonight at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James.
"Everything is now in place, so we are basically ready to deliver a good show," said businessman Worrell King, the CEO of King of Kings Promotion, the promoter of the annual concert. "We have an excellent line-up and the venue is absolutely beautiful."
The event, which has struggled to secure quality sponsorship over the years, got a major boost recently when Britain-based entrepreneur/reggae artiste, Levi Roots, who bought into the show's concept to produce clean, edifying music devoid of lewdness and crassness, came on-board as a major sponsor.
"While you will see a few hardcore artistes in the line-up, they will be performing in accordance with our concept of 'a celebration of good over evil'," said King. "It means you will be seeing some of these artistes in a way you have never seen them before."
The line-up is headed by ace dancehall star Bounty Killer, who will be shedding his 'cross, angry, and miserable' image and will be performing as the 'cool, calm, and collected' Rodney Pryce. He will have solid dancehall company in the likes of Assassin, aka Agent Sasco; and Mr Vegas, who will also be performing conscious sets.
As is normally expected of a roots-rock-reggae showcase, the line-up is chockfull of roots acts, inclusive of some of the biggest name in reggae music, spanning veteran stars from the foundation days to the current crop of roots music exponents.
The veteran cast features the likes of 'the messenger', Luciano; songbird Marcia Griffiths; A.J. 'Boots' Brown; Karen Smith; John Holt; Horace Andy; the London-based King Sound; Edi Fitzroy; Everton Blender; pioneer deejay - Big Youth; and the lyrically astute Junior 'One Blood' Reid, who will be performing alongside his son Wada Blood.
In terms of the emerging cast of new reggae stars, the line-up is led by the potent I Wayne, the dazzling Romaine Virgo, the much-in-demand Nature, Cherine Anderson, Iba Mahr, Iyahblazze Jesse Royal, the Uprising Band, Karah Dunwah, and True Identity.
The line-up is completed by dub poet extraordinaire and renowned social activist Mutabaruka, whose performance is considered a novelty because he rarely performs on the local stage.
The artistes will be guided through their paces by the potent Ruff Kutt and Skool show bands. Supporting music will be provided by Lee Tafari and DJ Taliah of Irie FM. Irie FM's Ron Muschett and Cordell Green will share the MC duties.