The lineup was Popcaan, Shurwayne, Destra Garcia, Sizzla and Mavado.  The latter two the headline acts.

Security and parking was on point.  Entrance to the venue was seamless, though I thought exit from the venue could have been made smoother.  The acoustics in the venue could have been better, perhaps next time they will give the venue some acoustic treatment so that there is less sound reflections.

Access to the bar was fairly easy, the service was swift and friendly.  It was good to see peanut vendors weaving through the crowd in the venue, which added that dancehall feel.

Stage placement could have been adjusted such that the stage was placed at either of the shorter sides of the rectangular court to maximize seating, but I supposed the stage was put where it was so that as you entered the venue you would have been entranced .

I missed Popcaan’s and Shurwayne’s performances so I am unable to comment on those.

The fact that I love Soca is known my many and frankly I think Destra Garcia is an underrated artiste; her catalogue has grown nicely with some good songs to boot.  For some strange reason though, I was not feeling the delivery that I know she is capable of last night.  Perhaps she needed to have walked with two backing dancers to allow her time to catch her breath in between some of the songs and which would have been a nice diversion.

Last night when Sizzla hit the stage, it showed how much people will appreciate good Reggae coupled with a fiery and energetic performance.  Sizzla delivered hit after hit after hit and had the ‘hard to please’ Jamaicans eating out of his hand.  After the brief introduction of Kalonji, the Ruff Kut Band was in motion.  It was live music at it’s best, even the musicians themselves seem to have enjoyed the set; the synergy was priceless.  He entered the stage to a graphic digital flaming display and was dressed in resplendent white garb’; even if he had not uttered ‘fire’ pon anything, you could see he was all about business.  He delivered like a marksman with utter musical precision.

I think a poor decision was made to place Mavado after Kalonji;  credit though must be given to ‘Vado for improvements in his performance.  He did not get breathless as fast (NB his catalog has grown extensively), was more buffed, much to the liking of many female patrons and viewers online.  It would have been nice to seem him do less songs in his set and sing out more of his songs instead of dashing them.

Overall, the show was a nicely put together production and it was refreshing to have minimal delays between each act.



New York, New York — September 27, 2012 — Irish and Chin’s Sound Chat Radio secured another highly sought after interview, this time around with incarcerated deejay Busy Signal’s manager Shane Brown. He called in to Sound Chat Radio on Tuesday, Sept 25, less than a week after Busy Signal was sentenced to 6 months in prison at a Minnesota Courthouse, for having absconded bail 10 years ago. Shane cleared the air on several issues surrounding the deejay, whose real name is Glendale Gordon and not Reanno Gordon, which is the alias he had been living under.

No topic was off limit, as Sound Chat Radio’s host Garfield ‘Chin’ Bourne asked Shane about prison conditions, which lead to the revealing disclosure of exactly how much weight Busy Signal has lost while being in jail for the last 4 months. Indeed, many of the deejay’s manager’s responses were very surprising as listeners were shocked to hear that Busy’s facility does not allow visitation among other privileges usually granted at other prisons.

The two also discussed how Shane has guided Busy’s career clear of all the usual Dancehall feuds and the instrumental decision that saw the deejay recording a full length, highly regarded Reggae album titled “Reggae Again,” and not a mix of Dancehall and Reggae as is done by some artistes. Busy’s manager speaks on the album’s present day sales, as it was released just weeks before the deejay was arrested.

The 30 minute interview was also groundbreaking because Shane has a reputation of being very ‘media shy’ — not granting many interviews throughout his many years in the music industry, despite working with top personalities such as Morgan Heritage, Shaggy, The Marley family, Romain Virgo, Chuck Fenda, Lady Saw, Bounty Killer and Shabba just to name a few.

Chin’s latest interview gave Sound Chat Radio listeners exclusive insight into the mood at the courtroom during Busy’s sentencing, personal accounts of the presiding judge’s comments and the potential role that the deejay’s song “Nah go a jail again,” played in the eventual outcome. Click here to listen to the full interview:


Stanley Beckford, mento maestro


(EXCERPT from Jamaica Observer written by Howard Campbell)

MANY Festival Song Contest winners are usually worried about being typecast as ‘Festival’ performers. That was never the case with Stanley Beckford, arguably its most popular entrant.

Beckford won the annual event on four occasions, two times with the Turbines, once with the Astronauts and as a solo act. His winning songs were Come Sing With Me (1980), Dem a fe Squirm (1986), Dem a Pollute (1994) and Fi wi Island a Boom which took the top prize in 2000.

But Beckford was more than just a Festival staple. He singlehandedly kept the mento beat in the spotlight during the 1970s when just about every Jamaican artiste was into roots reggae.

One of his non-Festival songs was the saucy Soldering, a not-fit-for-airplay hit that was covered by none other than American blue-eyed soul duo, Hall and Oates.

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