“I SING reggae music without apology,” declares Kenyatta Hill, now lead vocalist of Culture the vocal trio his late father Joseph Hill formed in Jamaica in the mid 70s.
No apology is needed of course at the Globe, which this year has hosted a series of stellar reggae gigs, with this Friday, August 22 show the best of the lot. In fact it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen.
While the Globe has hosted veterans of reggae throughout 2014, last night opened with young British reggae band, Rasites. They played their own 40 minute set, before their main business of the evening backing Kenyatta, original Culture member, Joseph’s cousin Albert Walker and Telford Nelson. Both worked with Joseph, who was the only constant member of Culture until his death on tour in Germany in August 2006.
Coincidentally one of Culture’s first shows bravely fronted by Kenyatta, following his father’s death, was also in Cardiff on the August Bank Holiday weekend, at the Coal Exchange in 2006.
As Culture moved through their set the band stopped and started again, giving the full rewind treatment for the classic Stop the Fussing and Fighting and perhaps Culture’s most well known song, Two Sevens Clash, soon followed.
While many veterans of Jamaica’s 1970s roots scene continue to tour, Culture are of course fronted by a younger man in Kenyatta who is physically able to bring the urgency and energy with which the music was originally recorded and performed.
Towards the end of Culture’s one hour twenty minute set Kenyatta notes it’s been ‘eight years since my father passed away’ and adds ‘I’m blessed to carry on my father’s legacy’ and introduces the various members of the band including drummer ‘Rim Bim’ who shows despite his years he too can maintain the pace with a frenzied soca tinged drum solo.
Culture left the stage to the strains of Two Sevens before returning for a 10 minute encore that included ‘I’m Not Ashamed’.
The close relationship between Culture and the Rasites is clearly demonstrated on stage, and you can read more about it HERE.
Earlier the Rasites showed the crowd that not only are they capable musicians but talented vocalists, with the deeper tones of bassist Jahmel Talliss Ellison complementing the sweet sounds of co-lead vocalist, guitarist Kashta Menilek Tafari.Rasites also dropped new songs Reason Time and new single Drum & Bassline, their version of the 1982 recording by British reggae pioneers Aswad. Tafari even showcasing his beat box abilities on the live version.
Drum & Bassline merged into a take on Triston Palmer’s Joker Smoker and the Rasites left the stage playing the rhythm of Michael Jackson’s Beat It.
Cardiff’s number one reggae sound Love & Harmony, which does include my brother, then only had to drop a few classics to keep the crowd entertained before the Rasites returned to the stage with Culture and Kenyatta.
The Globe hasn’t finished yet with its 2014 reggae classics, the next show on Thursday, October 23 will see lover’s rock pioneer Dennis Bovell alongside Carroll Thompson who has recorded some of the scenes biggest hits. Again Love & Harmony will provide DJ support.