Concert report
Vivian Jones, Supa Ranking & Benjie.
Backstage ~ Maastricht ~ The Netherlands.
30 - 01 - 1998

Supa Ranking Dutch winters usually are cold, wet and windy, so we really were in need of some 'tropical heat' that night. As we entered 'Backstage' the Runn Sound soundsystem was already warming up the audience at Backstage with a trailer-load of handpicked digital riddims from the '80s and '90s and the crowd just loved it. At the time deejay Supa Ranking (left) and vocalist Benjie (right) from Amsterdam started toasting and singing over the tunes played by Runn Sound selecta's King Whitey and Puppa Chipie, the dancefloor was filled with a skanking crowd. Benjie

Then Vivian Jones came on stage kicking off with a lovers tune across the 'Spinning the wheel' riddim, one of the latest riddims created by Barry O'Hare. What followed was a fine performance, filled with his latest hits and some vintage tunes. 'Build Up Africa', 'Strong Love', his breathtaking rendition of Bob Andy's 'Unchained' and an acappella version of 'Trench Town Rock' were some of the highlights of his show.

Vivian Jones 1

Talking about his career Vivian Jones told us he started singing in 1977 "just for fun, because I wanted to be a professional soccer player. Unfortunately I got injured and focussed on singing". His first UK #1 was on the Third World label, called 'Good Morning'. "I used to listen to all the great reggae singers : Bob, Peter, Bunny, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and Delroy Wilson. My spiritual teachers were the mighty Wailers". In 1984 he recorded his first album "with my brethren Ruff Cut, who build his studio to record the album 'Bank Robbery'."He has recorded in Jamaica for Barry O'Hare, Bobby 'Digital' Dixon and Junior Reid. "For the near future I'm planning on an album for various Jamaican producers." Vivian Jones

When asked about his opinion on the returning of conciousness in reggae music, especially dancehall music he replied : "Roots and culture has never been away, it was always there, even when there was a hype around artists who focussed on 'slackness and gun talk'. However, it's great to see that the roots and culture has taken over, 'cause there can be no good music without roots !"

Vivian Jones loves to perform, rather than working in the studio. "It's great to see the crowd enjoying the show, dancing and singing along." His album for Jet Star (Vivian Jones Reggae Max) was entirely compiled by himself and contains mostly self-produced material. "I've produced my latest album 'Moment of magic' and issued it on my own Imperial House label." Just like other small and independent reggae labels he experiences the same problems when it comes to distribution, a main problem in the reggae business.
After our little chat with Vivian Jones he went on stage once again and gave the public what they wanted... more Vivian Jones !

Vivian Jones
34 Cecil Rd Croydon Surrey
CRO 3 BG   Great Brittain
tel : 0181 251 8636

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