The Resistance Image

by Tanaka Roberts

Reggae music was alive at South Beach Café in Kingston for 'The Resistance' on December 27th as the memory of renown Jamaican producer, the late Phillip 'Fattis' Burrell was celebrated through the performances of artistes whose careers he helped to shape.

Upon arrival the sparse availability of proper parking was a clear indication that 'The Resistance' would cater to a full house. Patrons fraught the entrance of South Beach Café eager to make their way inside where last minute sound checks could be heard. Although show time was set for 8pm, with reggae music in the background- occasionally becoming overpowered by the laughter of socializing groups, the almost two hour set back went seemingly unnoticed. It was when the distinctive voice of Elise Kelly, Empress and Queen of mid-morning radio on Irie FM, took to the microphone, the night's proceedings finally begun.

Fresh off their European and South American tour, the band Raging Fyah graced the stage first. Warmly received by cheers and whistles, the band set the tone for the night unravelling rich roots reggae music, with one song after the other. As they gave fans a taste of their newly released album Judgment Day, it was clear, rebel music was the order of the night; it was 'The Resistance' after all. For their finale the band closed with an ode dedicated to "herbs" which left patrons on a high, ready for the next act.

With her ever present natural mystic, Jah 9 ascended centre stage. From the very first utterance her voice commanded the attention of her listeners or better yet her disciples. Each song taught a life lesson, as she implored them to embark with her on the mission to fulfil 'Jah works'. For many the highlight of her performance came when she invited reggae music sensation Protoje on stage for a duet. The militant messenger is expected to release her new album, New Name, in February 2013.

Songbird Kayla Bliss was announced next. She gave the audience the softer side to reggae, shifting from Jah 9's raw roots sound. The artiste who first garnered some attention through her duet with Jesse Royal stood her own Thursday night. Still a relatively fresh face, Kayla Bliss managed to keep her audience entertained as they swayed to the melodies of her songs.

Without delay, Jesse Royal followed. 2012 proved to be a good year for the young act who has stirred quite a buzz especially with his video for "This Morning" which went viral online. Jesse's performance was reminiscent of the late-great Peter Tosh from the conscious conviction of his lyrics to his dance moves and antics that enthralled the audience. To conclude his set he invited Kayla Bliss back on stage to perform their famous duet, "I Need You".

For the last time Elise Kelly mounted the stage to share tales of her memories with Fattis Burrell. This time she recounted her introduction to then a young budding artiste, Sizzla who Burrell spoke fondly of and referred to as 'the next big thing'. With much pride she welcomed on stage, now Reggae idol Sizzla Kalonji or her "big son" as she affectionately called him.

Greeted like royalty, Sizzla's presence struck South Beach Café with a new bolt of energy. With no reservations he began unloading his catalogue; a slew of reggae hits one after the other. The artiste warned his audience "Mi nuh come fi romp wid unuh tonight", he meant business. Equally prepared, the patrons, like a choir sang along – word for word- sometimes out-singing the artiste as he signalled to his band for the next track. In the midst of his performance he called a friend on stage Ras Shiloh, who wooed the crowd with a mix of Garnett Silk classics, his voice strikingly similar to Silk's. Sizzla returned for round two with even more crowd favourites including "Holding Firm", "Be Strong" and "Where Do You Go".

Unfortunately the late start resulted in the premature end of Sizzla's performance. Despite of some technical difficulties with the sound, over extended performances and intermissions, 'The Resistance' was a good night for Reggae music. The quality of the line-up was a profound indication of the legacy of a true veteran, Phillip Fattis Burrell. At the end of it all 'The Resistance' proved that reggae music is alive and its future, promising.

Image To contort oneself into the prescribed of mediocre minds - contradicts character.
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