Virgin Atlantic Music Festival 2008 – Wednesday November 5th 2008
The Bonfire Jam at Surfer’s Bay Silver Sands in Christ Church Barbados.
The third night on tour for The Virgin Atlantic Music Festival was held back at Surfer’s Bay, which had been transformed back to it’s usual casual beach bar state after The Big Weekend, which saw the entire venue fenced in a stage built out over the sea. The venue can hold over 3,000 persons when the entire grounds are opened up.
As it was November the 5th, a date celebrated in the UK as the night Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, in 1605. The tradition is to hold a big bonfire with a dummy of Guy, which is burned on the fire. This tradition was upheld at Surfer’s Bay with a huge bonfire in the middle of the lawn and once again the venue was packed out and people were spilling out on to the grounds.
The evening was a very informal jam session featuring a number of the artists who had performed at The Big Weekend. First up was local musicians from Barbados Jae & Kev who played covers and got everyone in the party mood.
Hip Slinky who had headlined the Hellraiser’s Ball on Halloween down at Surfer’s Bay and performed at Mojos on the Monday night of the festival also got up to do another full performance to the party goers for the Bonfire Jam. This was an even more intimate setting than the Mojos night and again they received a huge welcome from the audience.
After Hip Slinky the audience were treated to an acoustic set by Willow from Dublin, who had performed with her full band Chamber Games at the Hellraiser’s Ball on the opening night of the festival. Here Willow gave the audience a taste of her own original songs and played acoustic guitar. Willow has the voice of an angel and the audience didn’t want her to stop playing.
In true jam style Jae Johansen returned on stage and played for Willow, as she continued to sing beautiful songs for the audience, in particular her version of the blues classic ‘Red House’ was greatly appreciated.
Next up to join Jae on guitar was Ryan Chandler, from Soul Power who had really got the audience partying at the Weekend Blues Day on the previous Sunday of the festival.
Jae played guitar while Ryan belted out Bob Marley classics such as ‘No woman, no cry. Ryan got to show the diversity of his vocal range as he tackled songs well outside of his usual soul remit!
But just to remind the ladies that he could still get their hearts racing he sung some very moving Marvin Gaye ballads, which he has become famous for in London’s west end theater as he has just spent two years playing the part of Marvin Gaye in the theater production of ‘Dancing in the Streets’.
In the end the audience were so keen for the evening not to end that even they got up and joined in with the musicians for a few songs and it was past 2am by the time the final instrument was put down.