Friday, December 29, 2006

Reggae-Ska explosion

Gabbidon vocalists, Leonie Smith (Left) & Indigo
Birmingham's Jam House was the place to be last night for any self-respecting reggae, ska or two-tone fan with a superb show by regular house-band Gabbidon, led by Steel Pulse's founder Basil Gabbidon, alongwith special guests Ranking Roger and Neville Staple. The place was buzzin' with a large crowd and with a selection of music that you just had to dance to, the dancefloor was packed solid. Gabbidon played a host of reggae revival favourites in the 50-minute first half of the show, kicking off with Rise Up and following that with Respect For Jah, 54-46 Was My Number, Bad Man, Love & Affection, My Boy Lollipop and Could You Be Loved amongst others before vocalist Indigo took the lead for her excellent rendition of Walk On By. Next up was her vocal partner Leonie Smith with Police & Thieves before Lee Alexander finished the first half with Wear You To The Ball and Mister Bojangles. Gabbidon are a tight unit with talented musicians like Paul Beckford on bass, Colin Gabbidon on drums and band leader Basil on lead guitar and vocals. They also carry a brass section that includes Alvin Davis that adds that little bit extra to each live performance, alongwith the vocals that are shared amongst four gifted singers.

For the second fifty minute show, Gabbidon returned to support the two main guests of the evening. First up was Ranking Roger who went straight into Tears Of A Clown, and supported by Leonie and Indigo, carried on into a medley of The Beat classics, Hands Off - She's Mine, Ranking Full Stop and Mirror In The Bathroom. Roger handed the mic over to former Specials' frontman Neville Staple, who despite a car accident a few days earlier, gave his normal storming performance with Simmer Down, Do Nothing and Message To You Rudi. The two good friends returned for a joint effort of Enjoy Yourself, leaving the stage to loud applause, before Gabbidon closed the show with Love & Affection and Longshot - Kick The Bucket. Another night of great entertainment to keep the winter chill from the audience's bones. Roll on the next one.

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