Friday, October 1, 2010

BMF 2010: Reggae Review

You know when you wake up with a song in your head? Maybe it’s random, maybe it’s from the night before—whatever the reason, you just can’t shake it? For me that song is Love is My Religion, one of the many reggae hits played by Ziggy Marley at the Fairmont Southampton beach club last night. So you see, I really don’t have much to complain about. As expected the first night of the Bermuda Music Festival was off-the-charts good. At least Ziggy was, but I’ll get to him in a moment.

The night kicked off with a performance by Uzimon, Bermuda’s own self-described “reggaelutionary.” If you don’t understand what that means, well, that’s just the point. With a faker-than-fake Jamaican accent, Uzimon was squarely at the crossroads of comedy and reggae, performing songs like “Nasty Foot Gal” and “Steven Seagal,” purportedly about his childhood idol. Some of it was amusing, some off-putting, but at least I could sit through his schtick. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for the next Bermuda-based act—an abrasive group of dance hall wannabes called Homegrown. Now before you go jumping down my throat for trashing local artists let me say this: Ziggy Marley was the headliner. Ziggy Marley plays what’s called conscious reggae. So why not tap an opening act that has a similar style? Was Mishka not available? He’s from Bermuda. And he plays the exact same style of reggae Ziggy does, which really would’ve been perfect. Instead, the crowd endured the tired rap of another lead singer with a faked Jamaican accent plus a tweaked out bass that was so loud and so uncomfortable I physically had to leave my seat.

Ahh well, they all can’t be as good as Ziggy.

And so we get to the main act: the legendary Son-of-Bob. To say he didn’t disappoint would be a vast understatement. Ziggy rocked it, on a stage dare I say, is Bermuda’s finest open-air venue. Note to concert promoters: Putting ticket holders on the sand, under palm trees, next to the ocean is a very good thing. Job well done. As for Ziggy, he played just about every hit in his collection including True to Myself, Tomorrow People and the aforementioned Love is My Religion, which is still in my head in case you’re wondering. Of course, the reggae superstar couldn’t leave the stage without performing a few of his father’s tunes, and for that, the crowd roared. We got This Is Love, Get Up Stand Up and about a half dozen others that kept the audience swaying on its feet. All in all a fantastic start to the beachside festival, but if anyone has any suggestions for a new song to stick in my head, I’m all ears.

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