Virgin Atlantic Music Festival 2008 – Saturday November 1st 2008
Big Urban Vibes at Surfer’s Bay Beach Bar Silver Sands Christ Church Barbados.
The second day of the big weekend opening of The Virgin Atlantic Music Festival was held at Surfer’s Bay Beach Bar in Silver Sands. This opening weekend saw all 25 bands perform over the three days.
The stage was built out over the sea, providing a very dramatic backdrop as the Atlantic Ocean crashed behind. The gates opened at 12 noon for revellers to get the best spot and settle down for thirteen hours of live music and entertainment.
First up on stage were Philip 7 and his big band Masala. Philip 7, winner of the Barbados Music Awards 2007 as best alternative rock artist was a great opener to get the crowd up on to their feet and appreciate the talent of this singer songwriter from Barbados. He delighted the crowd with his hit song ‘Beautiful Surprise‘ and also showcased his new original reggae numbers that he had recently recorded in Jamaica.
Surfer’s Bay had a number of bars laid out around the grounds with local bars such as McBride’s, Mojos, Surfer’s Cafe and Bert’s Bar on tour.
Next to hit the stage was Strategy the energy band led by Kirk Brown, Teejay and Justin King. These three vocalists changed tempo on more than once occasion leaving the crowd screaming for more. Their strategy is quite simply to write and perform up beat songs to please their audience and this they did.
Strategy also introduced many guest appearances during their set, most notably from Hotta Flames. Hotta Flames is a singer songwriter producer and hip-hop artist who divides his time between New York and Barbados. His set was lively and really had the crowd in full swing.
The next section of the Big Urban Vibes Day featured hip-hop acts, and first up in this set was Ayana John. This 22-year-old Barbadian beauty is fast making her impact on the music scene with her soulful voice and stage presence. She gave a great performance and by now the crowd could hardly contain themselves as they awaited for even more musical treats.
Next up was TreZay with his act Poundas, where he paid tribute to his friend and fellow musician Whizurd, who had died from cancer earlier on in the year. His performance was moving and well received by the crowd.
Then from Trinidad came Chromatics complete with backing singers who had the crowd in raptures with his lyrics and up beat performance. Many Trinidadians came to Barbados for this special performance and were not disappointed with their trip.
Finally in this set was Barbados Music Award winner Ruby Tech, who was backed by the Buggy Fully Loaded Band. Ruby Tech is also fast making his mark on the music scene with his lyrics and stage presence. With numerous hits to his name this 25-year-old singer songwriter has far to go and left the crowd wanting more.
With the crowd now enjoying the sound of Absolut noise, next up was a full performance by the Buggy and his Fully Loaded Band, who are based in Barbados but travel the region featuring on many of the big reggae line-ups. Buggy had the crowd appreciating their surroundings of the Caribbean with his own unique blend of reggae and up beat tempo.
The headline act for the Big Urban Vibes Day was The Dub Pistols from the UK. This seven-man band performed a mixture of ska, break beat and dub. The Dub Pistols had also performed at Glastonbury 2008 in the UK with Rodney P – the UK godfather of Hip Hop.
Rodney P was on top form for Barbados and for the first couple of songs, the UK crowd were going mad, jumping up and down to each song while the Barbadian audience stood looking a little perplexed. The music sounded like reggae but was somehow quite different, it took the first two or three songs for the Barbadian crowd to warm up but they seem to decide that they liked what they heard and for the next hour the entire crowd was jumping around the lawn.
Red Star Lion, the most requested reggae singer on the circuit at present has recently recorded a track ‘Peace of Mind’ with The Dub Pistols and joined them on stage for the first ever live performance of the song.