Concert report
Hail Kings Of Glory '98.
Brixton Academy ~ London ~ U.K..
01 - 03 - 1998

"HAIL KINGS OF GLORY '98" ...a live impression by Danny "Pepperseed" Bouten.
Oh what a gathering it was on the 1st March when the "Kings Of Glory" touched London's Brixton Academy. The fully packed venue was warmed up by some excellent sounds, which busted classic after classic having the entire crowd singing along with every tune.
Choice FM's Daddy Ernie opened the show and announced two dub poets to the audience, who made place for the Firehouse Crew after some sharp poems. Firehouse kicked off with an instrumental version of Bunny Wailer's "Ram dancehall" followed by Bob Marley's "Redemption song" after they had welcomed the mighty Dean Fraser on stage. MC for this occasion was Irie FM's Elise Kelly, who introduced newcomer Malichi on stage. He got some good reactions from the massive after singing his Xterminator release "Love Jah". Next on stage came the always sympathetic singer Mikey General who performed some of his classics like "Miss Taylor bwoy", "Sinners" and his latest Xterminator release "Babylon cake". Mikey General was followed by the Gangalee, Louie Culture. In his militant khaki suit he stepped on stage and it was hit after hit, tune after tune. "Fire bun", "Bogus badge", Foundation from birth", "Gangalee" and "Scandalina" got a warm reaction from the crowd, but most popular proved to be his ganja anthems "Search" and "Natural herb".

After Louie Culture it was real startime when Sizzla entered the place. He kicked off with the anthem "Praise ye Jah", followed by the key songs of both his albums "Praise ye Jah" and "Black woman and child" and singles like " Did you ever", "Holding firm" and "Babylon a listen". However it was not only these tunes he gave us, but also some brand new lyrics like "Never before". His plea for the legalisation of ganja made everybody in the audience jump "My turban wrap is made of cannabis, my trousers, my shoes and even my brains are cannabis. It's the healing of the nation, how can Babylon forbid it ?". Then he sang his newest lyric "Smoke a lickle herb and get a humble thought/Pope Paul cyaan stop me from this ya bumboclaat" making the crowd even more frantic than they were before. According to the enormous smoke it seemed as if they really wanted to Bun down Rome. The most popular deejay of the moment left stage for the "messenger" Luciano.

As always the Quabala Man was running from one to another corner, jumping off and back on stage with the energy of a young child. Luciano sang tunes of his excellent albums "Where there is life" and "Messenger". Unfortunately Luciano did not give us any new tune until the end of the show when all fellow Xterminator members joined him on stage to close the show. One evening of strictly roots & culture that for me already was one of the highlights of this year !

As most of the artists and musicians went to bed I had the opportunity to talk to Firehouse Crew keyboard player Wrongmove, who told me this short tour to England was extremely exhausting. "We left Jamaica on Friday, arrived at London on Saturday, went straight on to Birmingham to do the first show. Now we've done this second show and in a couple of hours we are flying back to Jamaica and I haven't seen a bed so far. They don't show any respect for us and the time difference !" Next morning it appeared that even Sizzla was disconcerted. Tired and not very obliging he only wanted to talk to me on the phone.

Two years ago Sizzla told me how he looked up to Capleton, one of the first cultural deejays who brought back Rasta belief in reggae music after the brute murder of deejays Panhead and Dirtsman in 1994. How does he feel about the fact that he now has reached the same level as Capleton. "I still admire and respect Capleton because he's also an African and a Bobo. Two years ago I already had the same quality level as Capleton, but thanks to all media attention I've now reached great popularity.
All in me manifests itself through Jah Ras Tafari, because He brought me to this height. Everything I do I do for whole mankind, because I want everyone to hear my message and the truth. Now many ghetto youths, like Jah Cure and Jah Mason, also stand up to express their message and belief. They also are followers of Prince Emmanuel and the Principles of R. (Righteousness). They want to go back to Africa, away from Babylon."

In Sizzla's songs you can hear the term Sizzla Kalonji and it even can be found on the label of his Xterminator single "Till it some more". What does it mean ? "My empress (girlfriend) gave me that name. It's the African word for victory. From now on this name will always appear on the label." explains Sizzla. By now Sizzla is working on founding his own label, for which he sometimes records tracks. One of those tracks, "There's no pain" is recorded with Luciano playing acoustic guitar, but Sizzla has not yet planned any release. "Indeed, I have recorded and produced this tune, but there's so much. I have already enough material to release a new album." Rumours as if this new album will be released by Richard Branson's new label V2 are denied by Sizzla, but it's obvious Babylon can't ignore his message any more !

Writer: Danny "Pepperseed" Bouten, March 1998.

All Rights Reserved. © 1998   Reggae Vibes Productions