By Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer
Andy and Sutherland
BUNNY WAILER and Bob Andy paid the highest of musical tributes to their colleague Peter Tosh in Negril on Saturday night.
In fact, Bunny Wailer extended the concept of Tribute to Peter Tosh, held at Central Park in the tourist town's West End, to include the third original Wailer, Bob Marley.
"We will always remember the brother Peter Tosh. We will always remember the brother Bob Marley. And we will not be hypocrites to this struggle that Bob and Peter gave their lives for. They left us with a legacy that we will never forget," Bunny Wailer said, before closing his 70-minute set with Keep On Moving.
By his 5:00 a.m. ending time, most of the audience had moved on out of the venue, leaving a few to appreciate the tail-end of Bunny Wailer's class act.
"It has thinned out to the people who will always be the people who will see it through," Bunny Wailer said in his parting blessing.
While Bunny Wailer paused for a speaking cause several times during his set, which included the classics Blackheart Man, Armageddeon and Battering Down Sentence, as well as dancehall standards Ram Dancehall and Rock and Groove, Bob Andy let his music do all the talking.
The audience at Central Park heard him loud and clear and answered with shouts of approval, dancing, and demands for an encore.
Bob Andy walked on stage without fanfare, opened with Unchained and pandemonium ensued inside Central Park. "First time I man a sing fi Negril," Mr. Andy, a son of Westmoreland, said. He proved to be Too Experienced for the audience and soon, as he put his all in his performance, it proved to be true when he sang Everything Is Mine. The crowd agreed that "my resistance is getting weaker", drinking in not only Bob Andy's voice, but also his powerful lyrics.
You Are (Still My Honey) hit the perfect note with the ladies, as well as the SANE Band, what with an extended sax solo.
Andy took the time to do a little talking before doing Fire Burning. "Oonu tink a Capleton start fire? We a burn fire long before him! And it ago burn long after, cause we a go burn till we burn Babylon down!" he said, to enthusiastic crowd response.
Bob Andy had Central Park in a mental and physical tizzy on his encore, with I've Got To Go Back Home, segueing into I'm In a Dancing Mood, with which he wrapped up his 45 minute set.
There were no bad performances at Tribute to Peter Tosh, as Everton Blender, Nadine Sutherland and Edi Fitzroy did well, while an unrehearsed Andrew Tosh recovered from hacking away at Stepping Razor to give a creditable set of his father's material. In the early going, Singing Honour and Ambassada, as well as the poet De I Am, made their mark.
Nadine Sutherland performed with sheer joy on her face and ecstacy in her limbs, dancing, singing and laughing up a sweat while bringing a tremendous amount of variety and energy to Tribute. She opened with Babyface, touching Judgement Day and Reasons on the same rhythm. Her falsetto on Reasons was the sign of things to come, it hit the spot.
A touching number for Garnet Silk, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, accompanied by inspired keyboard playing, preceded an Abijah-less rendition of Love Can Change The World Today. She took time out to address the rumours of her being addicted to drugs, before doing the song that she wrote out of that experience, Jah Jah Is My Light.
"People, you know I have to pull up my pants," Nadine said, smiling, as she reduced the sliver of stomach which showed between jeans pants and top. "Yu know the dancehall have to go on. Yu arright with that?" Ms. Sutherland asked. The crowd was and got into Anything For You with her, as she chuckled over Beenie Man's lines. She gave them some Action and was soon off, but the crowd howled for more, and got Stepping Razor, along with a superb interpretation of Redemption Song.
Everton Blender's opening song, Piece A De Blender, proved very appropriate, as members of the audience rushed to the front of the stage to soak up the music of the man from Clarendon. Blen Dem, World Corruption, Rasta Come Fi Tek Ova and Lover's Holiday preceded a stunning a capella rendition of Where Do The Children Play.
The encore was inevitable, for which Blender did a piece of Legalize It a capella and finished with Lift Up Your Head.
Edi Fitzroy came out steaming with Inner Circle's Tenement Yard and never took his foot off the accelerator, hitting the spot with Prison Life, First Class Citizen and Princess Black, with The Gun wrapping up his encore performance.