“Guess who’s coming to dinner, Natty Dreadlock”
MYKAL ROSE created history with his former Black Uhuru band mates when, in 1984, they won reggae’s first Grammy award for the album Anthem.
The legacy is the singer is often referred to with ‘Grammy’ inserted as a middle name and his current UK tour is billed as Sounds of Black Uhuru 1977-1985.
The tour had been postponed from October when visa issues in the United States prevented the Jamaican singer from travelling to the UK last year. But when Rose finally reached the near-sold out Globe on Tuesday, February 6 the show coincided with the birthday of Bob Marley – who it feels an understatment to describe as also a trailblazing frontman of a reggae band.
The celebratory mood was helped by Cardiff soundsystem Love & Harmony Sounds whose selection of a wide range of reggae favourites built the atmosphere for the show before DJ Scorpian introduced the evening’s headliner.
Rose acknowledged the date as he sang “Happy earth strong Bob Marley” during his 2007 hit Shoot Out and gave a nod to the popular remix of the song he collaborated on with Bob’s son, ‘Junior Gong’ Damian Marley.
But the majority of the show was a celebration of the music Rose made as part of Black Uhuru. On this UK tour however, rather than the famed Jamaican duo of Sly Dubar and Robbie Shakespeare, he is backed by Londoners the Mafia & Fluxy band who are probably regarded as the best reggae rhythm section outside of JA.
Rose wasted little time waiting for the band to warm up before making his entrance and launching straight into What Is Life? from the Anthem LP.
Over the following hour Rose unleashed the hits that have become embedded in reggae as classics of the genre including Solidarity, Shine Eye Gal, General Penitentiary, Guess Who is Coming to Dinner – which received the stop and rewind treatment – and I Love King Selassie that he finished with a verse from Bob Marley’s War.
Throughout Rose injected, and urged the crowd to join in, his trademarks calls that punctuate many of his songs.
At the end of the hour Rose showed he is still capable of producing new music that can capture an audience as he got the crowd to sing along to his new single Zoom Zoom which closed the show.