On Saturday Belgium's premier reggae band Panache Culture was scheduled to perform on the main stage from 1.30 - 2.30pm, followed by Willie Williams from 3.15 - 4.15pm. A bit to early for us to attend their performances, but people who were there told us that Panache Culture did an energetic set in front of a very small but enthusiastic reacting crowd, whilst Willie Williams on the other hand didn't make a serious impression. We entered the festival ground - a new location very close to the old one - when Lloyd Brown took the stage. With a performance of about 25 minutes in which he delivered some of his best known tunes including a rendition of Hopeton Lewis' "Groovin' Out On Life", "Satisfy My Soul" and the wonderful "Bless Me", Lloyd Brown made a good impression. He fully showed that he's a great singer with a deep, sultry voice and a decent stage presence who can entertain the audience. We ran across Lloyd Brown when he came off stage.
RV : Again a short performance at Reggae Geel (didn't know he was going to do some songs with Sanchez later on / RV), just like three years ago when you replaced Little Roy. Would like to see you doing a full show.
Lloyd Brown : Yes, that's what I hope will happen in the future. Would be great to do a Lloyd Brown show in Europe, but right now I'm touring Europe with Sanchez, so that's another concept in which I play just a small part.
RV : How were you linked to Sanchez?
Lloyd Brown : Well, I wanted to perform in Europe, but to set up an extensive tour ain't that easy. So when my manager, Mikey Koos of ARM Promotions, who also handles Sanchez's affairs in the U.K., was told that Sanchez wanted to tour Europe we decided that I would join Sanchez on his tour. You could say it's a tour of the master and his apprentice.
RV : After Reggae Geel you're going back to London to do a show tomorrow?
Lloyd Brown : Yes, we have a sold out show with The Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra at the Hammersmith Carling Appollo in London.
RV : Then it won't last that long before we can see the show on dvd, just like happened before with John Holt.
Lloyd Brown : (laughs)...maybe after one and a half year.
RV : You're doing very well in the U.S. lately...
Lloyd Brown : Yes, in some parts of the U.S. .. New York for example. My version of Prince Lincoln's "Humanity" was well received, but it was "Bless Me" that really introduced me to the U.S. audience.
RV : Also other British reggae artists like Peter Hunnigale and Don Campbell are gaining more and more attention over there.
Lloyd Brown : Yeah.. that's really good, because they are real good artists who deserve that their music is also heard and appreciated outside the U.K. Don Ricardo is another singer with great potential. He's very, very talented and I really like what he's doing.
The next artist on stage needed no introduction, as just the sound of his angelic voice was enough to send the crowd into a frenzy. The one and only Sanchez, backed by his own Chronic band consisting of Oswald "IG" Gordon on bass, Courtney "Bubbla" Edwards, keyboards, Fitz Livermore on guitar and Joslyn "King Speckle" McKenzie on drums, spent some quality time endearing himself to his ever growing legion of fans. Truly a sight to behold in three piece suit with bowler hat, he commanded respect from the start of his performance. His reinterpretation of Simply Red's "Lady in Red" in 1987 propelled him to the forefront of the international reggae scene and was the start of a string of hit songs, many of them included on the setlist. Backed by a solid playing band Sanchez fully lived up to expectations. Starting off with "Here I Am" he then could do no wrong as he treated his audience to a great selection of catchy tunes, including "I Believe I Can Fly", "Love Won't Leave Me Alone", "I Can't Wait", "Missing You", "Loneliness", "Eternal Flame", "Hit Song", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Chronic", and of course, "Frenzy". He truly had his audience eating out of his hands. With "Love Mi Girl Bad" Sanchez showed that he's also able to deliver a tune inna wicked and wild dancehall stylee. It caused nuff excitement and was received with great approval from the crowd in front of the stage.