As part of their European tour Morgan Heritage, alongside L.M.S. and their father Denroy Morgan, came to Holland to do 4 gigs (+ another 2 added to their tour schedule). Their first show in Amsterdam was sold out and got rave reviews in the newspapers. So, expectations were raised high when we went to rural Tilburg to capture the "Morgan Heritage & Friends" show at a brand new, marvelous venue called "013".
Throughout the years we have learned that there is no need to hurry, when one is visiting a reggae concert. Thus very unusual, but nevertheless very enjoyable to experience, that showtime started almost exactly as announced, although there weren't that many people inside the venue yet. Accompanied by four members of band and family playing solely nyabhingi drum and hand drums, Denroy Morgan alongside members of Morgan Heritage and L.M.S. took the stage for what turned out to be a spiritually and vocally impressive opening of a wicked three our lasting roots reggae show. Chanting hymns, in which they mainly gave thanks and praises to Jah, they not only expressed their faith, but also managed the keep their listeners involved till the very end. A real pity for all those reggae fans who entered later, to have missed this part of the show.
After a short break Denroy Morgan - not only the father, but also MC and singer - announced the second part of the show and called on stage his three children, Laza, Miriam and Shy-Poo or shortly L.M.S.. Dressed in black and white clothing, these three, truly gifted youngsters opened their set with "Selassie On My Mind" (from their solid album "Reality Check"), thus refering back to the contents of the opening set. They continued with the awesome "Wicked Manslaughter", another track from their debut album and - the trio's fine version across the 'New Jerusalem' riddim - "Build And Destroy", which can be found on the 'one riddim' album "Morgan Heritage & Friends Vol. 2". With the funky, hip-hop flavoured "Wicked Man Clique", the appealing "Cease All Wars", the modest "Sound In The Air" ("...It's a voice.. the voice of Jah") and "Here We Come" - delivered across a new lick of the Mighty Diamonds' Channel One classic 'Right Time', now known as "Comforter" riddim - L.M.S. not only returned to the tracks of their own album, but also continued to stick to their, and the rest of the family's motto, "keep the vibe positive, never negative !".
L.M.S. rounded off a very satisfying, entertaining and enjoyable set, with their wicked version to the "Liberation" riddim, entitled "Never". Having seen and heard these up-and-coming vocal trio perform "live" in front of an audience, one can draw only one justified conclusion : these youngsters have a naturel talent and are definitely going to bring the reggae massive more great music. They are destined to establish their name on the reggae map. During the break that followed the selector in charge, who was seemingly focused on revival stuff, continued to spin wicked roots tunes from the past from such great artists like Johnny Clarke, Yabby You and the Twinkle Brothers.
The excellent, tight playing band that backed L.M.S. - consisting of a drummer, a bassist, a guitar player and a keyboardist - came back on stage alongside one brother (Lukes) Morgan as the second guitar player, a sister (Una) and a brother (Gramps) Morgan as the second and third keyboardist (both also providing vocals), another brother (Mr. Mojo) Morgan as percussionist and, last but not least, Peter Morgan on lead vocals. The Morgan Heritage members were all dressed in red, orange, yellow and black camouflage jackets, as if they wanted to express that they are "soldiers in Jah army". Morgan Heritage opened their set with "Revolution", actually a song that was also utilized as the opener of the first part of the show. From the very first moment the positive reggae vibrations were flowing and the band kicked into "Trodding Jah Road", a wicked roots tune, which got great approval from the delighted audience.
They knocked off two more great tunes from their latest album, "Don't Haffi Dread" - "Earthquake" and "Talkin' Bout War" - before they went back in time with "#1 Bingi Man", a tune they recorded with Trevor James aka Uncle T, for their King Jammy produced album "One Calling". Another older tune, "Live Up" on the Satta riddim, followed. A truly beautiful delivery from Morgan Heritage with positive lyrics across a timeless, killer roots riddim. Then "Protect Us Jah", the title track from the Bobby "Digital" Dixon produced album, actually the one that started things happening for Morgan Heritage.
With the performance of "Trodding To Zion" and "One Calling" they returned to the songs of their King Jammy album. "Trodding To Zion" incorporated a tribute to two great Jamaican singers, whose passing away at such a young age meant a great loss for Reggae music. Morgan Heritage paid tribute to Jacob Miller and Bob Marley through their songs as they performed "I'm A Rastaman" - Jacob Miller's cut to the Wailers' "Soul Rebel" riddim - and the Wailers' "Run For Cover". "One Calling", across the revitalized "The Whip" riddim from The Ethiopians, got a real wicked, nyabinghi flavoured interpretation. Morgan Herritage turned the original tune into an extended version, as they added lyrics of "So Long Rastafari" to their own.
With the awesome "Buss Up Barriers" over the "New Jerusalem" riddim they kept the fire burning hot. And then father Denroy Morgan, introduced by Peter Morgan, stepped forward to do his part of the show. After he had addressed the audience Denroy Morgan performed a nice song from his album "Salvation", followed by his cut to the "Liberation" riddim, "Link Up". Denroy ended his short performance with the title tack of his latest album, "Salvation".
Morgan Heritage once again took over the proceedings on stage and continued their very enjoyable and entertaining show full of spiritual and positive vibrations with "Liberation", with Mr. Mojo and Laza from L.M.S. coming on to deliver a part of "Jah Jah City", the Capleton cut to the riddim, before the other two L.M.S. members also came back on stage to perform their militant chant on the riddim, entitled "Never". Morgan Heritage ended with the excellent "Reggae Bring Back Love" on the Wailers' "Mellow Mood" riddim, which brought a real sweet vibe to their audience. The people, of course, wanted more Morgan Heritage and the group served them well with their last song of the show, "Don't Haffi Dread To Be Rasta".
The entire Morgan Heritage family and friends delivered a great 3 hour lasting show, in which they not only lived up to expectations as they fully demonstrated their musical skills and talents, but also made a serious impression through their positiveness and professional approach, the latter expressed by means of such important details like for example a solid sound system and a right mix.

Afterwards we were able to get updated with the group's musical activities. During their stay in Holland they recorded a tune with the top ranking Dutch reggae/hip-hop trio Postmen, which will appear on Postmen's forthcoming album. The song they recorded is tentatively titled "World Of Reggae". Morgan Heritage themselves will release a live album of their European tour in May 2000 and a new album, "More Teachings", at the beginning of 2001. On that album - which will be released by VP Records and Heartbeat Europe - fans definitely must check out a previously unreleased track called "Maskel Square", which is about the finding of the true cross of Jesus Christ. (Maskel is Amharic for Cross). Further details about other tracks and producer(s) could not be provided yet. Another "one riddim" album in the "Morgan Heritage Family & Friends" series is finished and ready for release. All this, and the fact that Morgan Heritage has serious plans to go on tour with some of their Friends, makes that we can look forward to more great things to come from the Morgan family.

Writers : Teacher & Mr. T Photos : Teacher
March 2, 2000



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