Every Jazz Café, Camden experience differs from night to night.
This evening began with the well-known Mandingo record producer and journalist welcoming everyone!
Hearing Mandingo got the crowd ready and set the scene, explaining who the first supporting artist was, where they were from and the energy they had shared in the industry thus far. The uppercut band came out and started jazzing and the crowd got moving and a grooving!
West Londons very own, Solo Banton stepped out and welcomed the crowd, and showed some love to the audience. Solo Banton born and raised in West Londons, Shepards Bush started MCing at the age of 11 on his brother’s sound system, King Shamma International.
There are a number of firstname-something lastname-Bantons in the industry and Solo, gave a small preamble into what Banton means. “Banton” is a Jamaican word referring to someone with a superior attitude and a gift with speech. Some of mention, Buju Banton, Burro Banton, and even Pato Banton.
Solo Sang Talk to me, which if you listen here off the record is a hard tune! Live the jazz café sound system could not of done it justice unless we had a couple tower sound systems, but it was fantastic none the less. This is on the Maffi label produced by Jahtari.
Other songs that night were Music addict, Walk like Rasta, No, Sleepwalking, and the real reggae heads will know Dennis Browns — I Don’t Want To Be No General. The Uppercut band played that live whilst Solo sang over that riddim. Vibes!
Also Solo has a song from this year with Macka B, that got sang live too, Edutainment.
The good vibes and banter were high. There is a section in Talk to me where there is a rolling of the tongue, the same word repeated like 5 times, Solo pulled someone from the audience and put the mic to them to try it and they were pretty close at pulling it off.
There was another joke about a small spillage on the floor, someones Guinness and eventually a jazz café member came over and got that cleaned up pronto ahead of the main artist coming up on stage.
Solo Banton is a character, a real Raggamuffin, I loved his banterous energy and its hard not to like him and his music!
When Mandingo came back on stage the vibes where good, the audience were definitely warmed up!
I know I was, and I had a good spot, to the right of the stage.
Johnny Osbourne, born 1948, making him 71 years old to date, took to the stage and boy, was he energetic!
The last dance I went to was King Yellowman, read my review here And he was 63 and jumping, push ups and running left and right on the stage, and now Johnny Osbourne, just as spritely. Whats their secret? A plant based diet?
The perfect song to start with, We Gonna Rock It Tonight, originally on Jammys label 1986. The “version” to this is great!
Then onto Truths and Rights — As the album is also called from 1979. Which was and still is a very well know huge roots reggae hit!
Jah Promise (also from the Truths and Rights album), Sing Jah Stylee, We Need Love — I love this song! Buddy Bye which is over the Sleng teng riddim, as everyone knows and loves!
For the lovers out in the audience he went onto Ice Cream Love (Album by Johnny Osbourne and Mungo’s Hi Fi) the A side and then onto the B side! Which is Roots Radics Band “version” where he sang over Ice Cream Love bits too, and the Uppercut band jazzed out to.
Johnny Osbourne is undoubtedly one of the most popular Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer of all time.
Not played that night and if you dont know, Johnny Osbournes song Mr. Marshall ( which is a great song — so listen to it right now! ), it was that, that was sampled for Major Lazer’s song, Jah No Partial, which was a hit in 2012, especially in the raves.
It was a really special night to be so close to the stage and see as well as hear the Dancehall Godfather, of 50 years standing and I am sure of it, still plenty more years to come.
Jymit S Khondhu
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