I’ve tried before – But this is the first time I’ve managed to get to see the living reggae legend that is Lee Scratch Perry (he’s 80 later this month) and I sincerely hope it won’t be my last. A fantastic backing band for him to chatter over….a perfect combination.
The night started with the Mad Professor playing reggae tunes new and old whilst dubbing them up to full effect. Digger and I lookwd at his mixing desk in a box, turned to each other and said “I want one!” He played the drums for one track and said the first one to guess could have a CD. It was Stevie Woders ‘Superstition’ which I shouted out but no one heard – then a girl behind me shouted it out and he did here. “Come on up” so up she got – he hands her the mic “now you got to sing it”…….thank goodness he didn’t hear me!
What can you say about Lee Perry that hasn’t been said already. Master producer in his Black Ark studio, responsible for some of the best loved reggea songs ever, and mad as a box of frogs. He came on clutching a teddy bear, with bling on every finger and mic decoration that included mirrors and feathers. He greatly recieved a rubber duck off someone in the crowd and put it in his pocket like a prized possession. At 80, he was still spliffing it up on stage causing the potent smell of ‘erb filled the place…..
They did a fantastic set including “Happy Birthday’ (nice as it was Martins Birthday) ‘Police + Thieves’ and ‘Curly Locks’ finishing with ‘Exodus’. The band were tremendous, especially the bass player who looked to be doing not much, but was making some amazing rhythms. Lee would start the first line of each song oftenchanging the words (so “I’m gonna put on an Iron Shirt” became “I’m gonna put on my Iron Boots”) then drift off into a word association ramble about ‘my fans’ or war or…I don’t know…but it was fantastic! Shaking hands with those at the front he asked one large chap who’s partner he’d just hugged “Do you love her?” “yeah” “Then why don’t you do hexercise?”…..Top night
Bob the Chiropodist