Friday, December 01, 2006

Gabbidon & Friends

By the end of tomorrow, I'll have experienced two extremes of my own personal musical tastes with last night's History of Reggae show by Basil Gabbidon and numerous friends at The Jam House in Birmingham followed by a extremely rare concert performance in London on Friday night, by the Maestro himself, Ennio Morricone.

The ten-piece Gabbidon band, led by main vocalist Basil on guitar with his brother Colin on drums, kicked off their journey from ska through to roots reggae with 54-46 Was My Number, followed by Hey Fatty Bum-Bum and other songs, including the superb Love & Affection, with Basil sharing vocals with Leonie Smith (pictured) and Indigo. Lee Alexander hopped on stage to take the lead, with Sweat, Wear You To The Ball and an instrumental version of Natural Mystic - aided by Pete Reid on guitar - ending the first forty-five minutes of the show. Just after 11pm, the band re-appeared with the first of a number of guest singers, Dennis Seaton, a former member of Musical Youth, belting out a brilliant version of Shine. The lead vocals then changed hands between Lee, Indigo (singing Walk On By), Candice, Leonie (with Police & Thieves) and Miss Banton, Lee returned to sing Now That We've Found Love and Mister Bojangles before Yaz Alexander stepped up to the stage for Keep It Like It Is, with the night's jam-packed session ending with One Love a little after midnight. Top quality music-making and some fantastic vocals showcasing a wonderful array of talent at the disposal of Britain's second city. I'm told Gabbidon have now secured a regular slot at The Jam House, with their next showcase taking place on Wednesday 27th December, when they hope to include Neville Staple on their invite list.

You can read more about Gabbidon here. And I'll be back, sometime on Saturday, to enthuse about Mr Morricone. Stay tuned. In the meantime, you can read about my previous Morricone experiences here.

No comments: