Concert report
Macka B, Chukki Star & The Robotiks
Backstage ~ Maastricht ~ The Netherlands.
26 - 06 - 1998

Macka B's one and only Dutch concert of his current tour was held in Backstage, the place to be if you love reggae music, situated deep in the south of the Netherlands. It was certainly worth the 100 miles to Maastricht and (late at night) another 100 back home.
As soon as the Robotiks band started playing and the unique and immediately recognizable mixing style of the Mad Professor was poured all over the audience, all felt the roots of reggae music, the power of drum and bass.
You either love or hate the Ariwa posse's riddims, and Neil Fraser's mixing style, but if you love it, it is great to hear some live dubs flinging around you and through your ears in your head, played by this tight live-outfit.

           Eddie Brown, bassplayer
Talented Chukki Starr did a few songs of his current Ariwa release Ghetto Youth Livity and riding the riddims with his powerful voice (which reminds as much of Capleton live, as it does on his Ariwa set) he seems to be able to become a great performer, if he adds some more 'audience awareness' to his live shows.
After that the man from Wolverhampton Macka B took the stage. The tall Macka B, with his gruff voice and style of delivery that match the Mad Professor's riddims so well, performed his inimitable witty lyrics in his unique way. He even deejayed a few phrases in French during his tribute to the Reggae Boyz, who won their match against Japan earlier that evening, Allez Reggae Boyz. Performing mainly songs from his later albums on Ariwa records, like his tribute to Bob Marley from Hold On To Your Culture simply titled Bob, and the in Holland in itself unnecessary Legalize The Herb (but the audience sang along for all abroad who are less lucky). He did a strong rendition of his song about BSE Mad Cow and described the vibes at Backstage during this concert very well with Roots Is In Town, both from his latest album Suspicious. The audience also participated in his anti racist song (Racist) Back Off, and all the other selections were as well received.
It seemed unfortunate that the roof at Backstage isn't really high, especially for a tall man like Macka B, which kept Macka B a little more static on stage, but his vocal performance more than made up for that. I can only recommend everyone able to catch a Macka B performance this tour to do so, he is one of those artists whose live shows add something extra to what you already heard at home.
After the concert we were able to talk to both artists. First we met Anthony Williams, better known as Chukki Starr. He started out as a deejay for the Echo Stones soundsystem in the Stone Ridge Community. After joining his family in Jamaica he voiced some specials in Jamaica.
In 1993/1994 he returned to the UK, teamed up with Gussie P. of "Fashion Records" and began working for the Evilous sound system. Back in Jamaica he recorded a couple of tunes for Bobby Digital and African Star and voiced lots of specials for several Jamaican sounds. From that time on he built up a special relationship with Bobby as well as African Star. For Saxon he recorded Unity, a combination track alongside Frankie Paul. The latest Saxon sampler (Volume 5) contains two of his tracks: Mark A De Beast and Yout Dem Anthem. At this moment he's working on an album for Saxon records and a combination track with Nerious Joseph. He's quite happy with the album he recorded for the Mad Professor, Ghetto Youth Livity. Lyrically he always concentrates on conscious themes.
Born Christopher MacFarlane, Macka B. began his career in 1975 with the Exodus soundsystem in his native city Wolverhampton.
After the sound broke up he got involved with the Birmingham based sound Wassifa hi-fi. A tape of a dance was going round and his fame spread to London where he recorded the fast chatting single Bible Reader in 1985 for Fashion records. The following year Ariwa released his impressive debut set Sign Of The Times. Since then his output for Ariwa has been prolific and he has also recorded some tunes in Jamaica. He tries to combine humour and consciousness in his lyrics and gets his inspiration from Jah. Because he feels that people need something to relate to he keeps away from slack lyrics. Although tonight he did not perform for a long time on stage, he's looks back satisfied on the concert. The crowd reacted enthusiatically, giving him the right vibes : "It's important there is a positive interaction between me and the audience".

Text : Souljah and Teacher & Mr. T. ~ Pictures : Teacher

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