The Golden Voices of Reggae – An Easter Spectacular
featuring Sanchez and Mikey Spice
Authentic Real Music (A.R.M.) Promotions in association with Dragon Stout presented The Golden Voices of Reggae – An Easter Spectacular featuring Sanchez and Mikey Spice in full concert @ the Malcolm X Centre, Bristol, ENGLAND on Good Friday April 13th 2001.
The Dainty Crew arrived at the Malcolm X Centre around 12:30am and found a queue of people waiting to get inside the venue. This was a first as far as we were concerned as we had never seen a queue outside the centre before and we saw this as a good sign that people were coming out for the event.
On entry into the venue Scratchilus were at the decks playing a selection of tunes. The centre was pretty full with both upstairs and downstairs housing a number of people and some extremely keen folks were already stood in front of the empty stage ear-marking their spot for when show time began.
As the venue continued to fill up General D of Scratchilus played a few choice cuts to get the ladies going and when Destiny’s Child sang about ‘Independent Women’ the show of hands on the chorus showed at least 60% of the patrons for the event were female. Since the women were getting lively, Toni Braxton berated ‘He Wasn’t Man Enough’ before Morgan Heritage took us ‘Down By The River’ and then Buju & Beres asked ‘Can You Play Some More’?
Scratchilus obliged and went onto a cultural segment with tunes such as ‘Lift Up Your Head’, ‘Ghetto People Song’, ‘Jah By My Side’, ‘Praise Jah’ and the Fireman’s ‘Jah Jah City’ got an instant rewind as did Buju’s ‘Hills & Valleys’. Junior Kelly told us ‘Love So Nice’ and Half Pint said he wasn’t a ‘Substitute Lover’. Beres was ‘Tempted to Touch’ and then he knew ‘They Gonna Talk’. The crowd were singing along with all the tunes and Scratchilus took us on a Beres excursion with ‘Over You’, another duet with Buju ‘Big Man Don’t Cry’ and then Beres started ‘Putting Up a Resistance’ before he got ‘Double Trouble’ and found out ‘She Loves Me Now’. Freddie McGregor knew ‘Push Comes to Shove’ and he had to let in Dennis Brown when he asked ‘Have You Ever’? Frankie Paul asked someone to pass the ‘Kushenpeng’ before the lights started dimming and people headed towards the stage for the start of the show.
The MC, Goldfinger, came on and after trying to get some crowd responses, he introduced Tinga Stewart. The latter bounded onto the stage dressed in a brown velvet trouser suit and beige hat with his locks loose. Backed by the 441 Band, Tinga sang tunes such as ‘Dream Lover’, ‘Just My Imagination’, ‘Inside My Heart’ and then he did his hit tune, ‘Cover Me’. Although the crowd were not 100% familiar with some of his songs, ‘Cover Me’ got them singing along and they gave back nuff love as he exited the stage.
Goldfinger bounded back onto the stage and encouraged the crowd to give Tinga another round of applause before 2 ladies stepped up to the back-up microphones and he introduced Mikey Spice to the stage.
Dressed in a black suit and white shirt, Mikey stood tall and launched straight into his set with the help of his back-up singers. He sang ‘Born Again’, ‘When You’re Lonely’ and ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’. During his set, he abruptly stopped and asked the crowd whether they could hear him all right and after a positive response, he let loose a few expletives as he was complaining he could not hear himself. After moving over to one of the main speakers to the side of the stage, he covered one ear and continued to sing, but again stopped and complained. Again, there was a lot of swearing accompanying his complaints and an engineer got up on stage to try and see what the singer was referring to.
His actions obviously had no effect as when Mikey tried to continue with his set we could see he was still frustrated. He was looking hot and bothered even after opening his jacket and loosening his extremely neat dreadlocks. He mopped his brow and managed to sing a couple of lines of ‘Close The Door’ and one line of his popular tune ‘Grab Yuh Lass’ before he exited from the stage. The crowd were left sorely disappointed as they expected him to sing the tune that most patrons know, ‘Practice What You Preach’.
Scratchilus started playing some more tracks as engineers swarmed the stage to check the set and there was a band changeover in preparation for Sanchez. Ghost sang about a ‘Bodyguard’ before Barrington Levy was ‘Living Dangerously’. Beenie Man and Chevelle Franklin sang ‘Dancehall Queen’ before Beenie got ‘Slam’ and Spragga said her face was like a ‘W’. Capleton said she looked ‘Good In Her Clothes’ and asked ‘Who Dem’? Ward 21 saw a ‘Bloodstain’ and Harry Toddler warned ‘Watch Yuh Friends’. Beenie could see ‘Heights of Great Men’ and was ‘Crazy’ before Lexxus said them a ‘Penny Wi’. Sizzla had some ‘Good Ways’ just before Goldfinger took to the stage again.
After a whole heap of long talking, Goldfinger managed to get to the point and introduce the Chronic Band who played a few bars of some rhythms and then the man himself, Sanchez, graced the stage dressed in a long dark grey trench coat, light blue bowler hat and we could see light blue trousers peeking out underneath his coat.
He launched straight into a string of hits and the crowd were going wild. Men were even pushing to get nearer the front although we were unsure why… Sanchez announced ‘Here I am’ and told us he was ‘One In A Million’ before he believed he could fly. The crowd sang along joyously with all his tracks and at certain points, Sanchez turned his mic towards them and they sang the choruses of tracks like ‘Not Alone’, ‘Lonely Won’t Leave Me Alone’ and ‘Brown Eyes’ quite happily. He called, "Just break these chains and set me free" before he said he was ‘Missing You’.
When Sanchez removed his trench coat he was dressed in a full light blue suit with matching tie, black shirt and black shoes. He looked very dapper and the ladies were appreciative, especially a few excited fan at the front of the stage who kept reaching out to touch him at every opportunity.
Whenever he started a new song, the crowd were appreciative. He sang ‘Forever’ and said "every day I love her just a little bit more…" before he wanted to ‘Love You Down’. He was not impressed that ‘Sorry’ was all that could be said before ‘Sometimes I Run’.
As the show progressed, he had progressively removed his hat and his suit jacket showing off a neat haircut as he sang ‘Praise Him’. He pulled his tucked in shirt out as he covered ‘One Love’ and shook hands with some of the ladies lining the front of the stage. One excited fan looked like she was trying to drag him off the stage, but he managed to extricate himself and continue. He spoke to the crowd of missing Dennis Brown and sang ‘Love & Hate’ before asking "should I put my faith in you"?
He exited the stage and came back minus his tie before singing ‘Your Love Is My Love’. The room was clapping along in time with the song and then he did ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘Dis De Man’ then his latest hit tune ‘Pretty’ before ending his set on ‘Amazing Grace’.
His performance was outstanding and the crowd were satisfied that they had heard as many of his hits as he could cram into just under an hour and a half.
Scratchilus returned to the decks and continued playing for the crowd keeping the majority of patrons in the venue until well after 5am.
Big respect goes out to Jabulani for facilitating this review.