Lady Saw redeems Reggae Party.
Time is said to be man’s most valuable asset. So when that time is wasted, and cannot be regained in most instances, one is left displeased and frustrated. This was exactly how a good number of patrons left feeling after the Digicel Reggae Beach Party ended on Easter Monday night.
It was a hyped tenth anniversary celebration; but that was only in name, as many of the performances were weak, or nothing to shout about. The crowd, which was sparse for the majority of the evening, arguably came to see headliner Aidonia, since the numbers only really started to grow almost three hours after the scheduled 3 p.m. start.
The crowd’s wait for him wasn’t in vain, and the “dagger master” wasted no time rolling out his hits. Tip Pun Yuh Toes, Wine On De Pole, Tek It Off, 100 Stabs, Sit Down, Bruki, Rip Mea and Ukku were but a few of those hits that sent the Brandon Beach, St Michael audience wild. However, his presentation fell victim to the plague of vulgarity, which as well infected several other artistes’ performances, including that of fellow Jamaican I–Octane.
It was embarrassing to watch as women scaled the railings just to take to the stage to, what observers considered, “degrade” themselves. One after the next, these women lay on their backs, stood on their heads, and were put in whatever position the artistes, and in some cases men called from among the audience, placed them in as they simulated sexual intercourse.
If this writer could wipe the sights displayed on that stage from memory, it would be certainly done, as they came on the same day Christians across the island were culminating the scared Easter season. The slackness was equally overbearing for members of the Royal Barbados Police Force. So much so, that an officer took to the stage to warn Aidonia about the lewd behaviour and his excessive cursing.
Furthermore, police, as well as the private security detail, then used their bodies as barricades to prevent other women who, likewise, wanted to demonstrate their “dance” skills, from getting onstage. In response, a visibly unnerved Aidonia lamented that from 2006 he had been coming to Barbados and always represented the island well.
“When good things happening, people always come in the way . . . . Bad mind a-try hold me down; bad mind a-try stop me,” he said before he and members of his entourage jumped off the stage and into the crowd.
Connoisseurs of good music and good performances, nonetheless, had some saving grace in the form of Lady Saw. Lady Saw wasn’t her usual raunchy, crude self, but nevertheless showed the audience and fellow entertainers why she is still the reigning Queen Of The Dancehall.
For 45 energetic minutes, her “movementations” spoke of a body yet quite flexible and a voice still clear and powerful as what the world has come to know. Two Man Mi Have, Grab Up, Heels On, Chat To Mi Back, Bend Over and I Got You Man she offered and the audience lapped up every minute of her.
Then new tunes like I Don’t Care If You Don’t Love Me and The Best . . . kept them, but when her Bad Gal “mix down” came and she brought Sycamore Tree, it was all over. It was as if this woman had not aged at all. What was admirable about Lady Saw also was that while she sang her racy lyrics, she yet advocated safe sex.
The Bajans, particularly Lady Essence, in addition to Stiffy , and Porgie And Murda in their Most Wanted feature also represented well. With the aid of DJ Diamond, Lady Essence was the first local act to actually move the very moderate crowd present earlier in the day. She brought a few older songs like Check Pockets And Roll, Glue Trap and No Man but was still very good.
Also performing was Raine Seville from Jamaica who suffered immensely from an apparent lack of communication between her and her deejay. Other artistes included locals Mr Levi, Brutal, Omar McQuilkin and Gucchi, along with Jamaicans Stone Love and Madd Dog.