Date: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
Line up: Collie Buddz, Gabby Ranks and New Kingston
Location: The Clubhouse. Tempe, AZ
It is rare to find an iconic international recording artist from Bermuda performing in the desert of Arizona, but on a rainy Tuesday night in Tempe, reggae fans had their wish granted. Not only was Collie Buddz in town, but also his backing group, New Kingston kicked off the night with their own fresh blend of island reggae.
Dressed to impress in their pressed blue jeans and tight black t-shirts, New Kingston laid down the foundation of the evening. With bass lines reminiscent of Aston “Family Man” Barrett and crisp drum beats firing away nonstop, dancing feet were required upon entrance.
A look back to the past was also in store, covering Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” and “War”. New Kingston might not be a household name, but they can play any rhythm under the sun, and then some. Honestly, they could have sat on stage the entire night, without rotating performers, and fans would have been pleased.
Yet, a first time performer in Arizona, Gabby Ranks took the stage following a brief hype session from DJ Peewee. Hailing from London, England, Gabby Ranks walked on stage with a mic in his hand, and went to work. All he needed was a couple turntables and a crowd to enjoy his rhymes.
In his eyes, it was a perfect match. The crowd responded to his sound, throwing their hands up in appreciation from the moment he stepped on stage until it was time for the main act. The energy was electric after Gabby Ranks’ set, but there was still more.
With the venue tumbling over capacity, Collie Buddz jumped on stage with New Kingston opening up with a heavy metal intro, seamlessly shifting to a reggae rhythm. Fans might have been surprised by the off the wall metal sounds, but as soon as Collie Buddz sang the first line of “Come Around,” the night was back in proper reggae form.
After many encounters with Collie Buddz as an opener, it was a treat to hear a full, headlining set list from the Bermudan. Bringing the men and women together, the track “Mamacita” did just the trick. For the fans that just got off of work, Collie Buddz opted to play his hit single “Holiday” to shed a brighter light at the end of the tunnel.
Other songs that Collie Buddz and New Kingston performed were “Tomorrow’s Another Day,” “Blind To You,” “Let Me Know” and the finale “Sensimillia”.
Collie Buddze exited the stage, blowing kisses to the crowd, as New Kingston played on. Continuing their dub backbeat, their sound slowly faded into silence. The only ones left making noise were the fans. Not one, but two calls for an encore were enough for Collie Buddz. The crowd begged for more, but the lights came on and the doors opened. Typically, five hours of live music is plenty, but when the soundtrack consists of Collie Buddz and New Kingston, it’s never enough!
– Article by: Kris Siuta
– Photos by: Kit Chalberg
(Photos were used from show in Colorado on separate night)
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