Reggae stars Admiral Bailey and Pinchers return for Sunday concert

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They gave us ‘Agony’, ‘Mr Bandelero’ and ‘Big Belly Man’ Admiral Bailey and Pinchers, two icons of reggae music, will perform in Bermuda this weekend.

Their performance is part of Veterans in Action, an annual event celebrating reggae music.

“These two performers were very popular in the 1980s and performed in Bermuda several times,” said Declan Harris of Tec Productions. “They still perform at a high calibre and are current. They do a lot of events in Europe and Asia. Reggae is very big in Japan right now.”

He continued: “It is a chance for people to see some live entertainment with some stars of yesteryear.

“They are coming in from Jamaica and will be performing live. The early part of the evening will include some local DJs such as OGS, Nuclear Weapon and Rusty G who will be playing some classic reggae songs and then three local artists, Shorta Ranks and Junior C.”

In his early career Jamaican artist Admiral Bailey (Glendon Bailey) was a dancehall DJ. His own hits came later: ‘Chatty Chatty Mouth’, ‘Ballot Box’ and ‘Big Belly Man’. Pinchers (Delroy Thompson) was a popular teen performer in the late 1980s, known for ‘Agony’ and ‘Bandelero’, probably his most remembered single.

Mr Harris first got into the reggae scene in the late 1980s when he moved from Bermuda to New York City to attend university.

“I started out here listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers, Third World and Steel Pulse,” he said. “During that era they were performing in Bermuda. I can remember listening to Ska.

“When I got older, I was interested enough to research back a bit and found the link between reggae forms such as ska, rocksteady and dancehall.

“I left Bermuda in 1988 and I was involved in the dancehall scene in New York while I was going to school.

“In New York at that time artists like Shinehead, and Shelly Thunder were doing really well at that time. That was when I really fell in love with reggae.”

He organised the upcoming event with Rowan Ramotar of Wild Apache Promotions.

Jamaican-born Mr Ramotar said he practically started listening to reggae in the womb.

His appreciation for the music continued when he came to Bermuda in 1987.

“At that time what struck me in Bermuda was how prominent reggae music was and how knowledgeable people were about reggae.

“Certain songs in the 1980s had been big in Jamaica, were very current here. It is interesting to see how reggae has evolved over the years.”

Both men agreed that reggae was at its best in the 1980s.

“Unfortunately, reggae has gone in a direction I am not a big fan of,” said Mr Harris. “That is why I am celebrating what used to be. I don’t want to call reggae a dying art, but it is not getting any younger. “

The Veterans in Action show on Sunday will be held at the Bermuda Athletic Association at 9pm. Tickets, $30 at the door and $35 in advance, are available from all Western Union and Money Gram locations, Kit ‘n’ Caboodle and the Jamaican Grill on Court Street and in Bailey’s Bay.

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Published Nov 8, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm)

Reggae stars Admiral Bailey and Pinchers return for Sunday concert

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