Pubdate: Mon, 06 Feb 2006
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2006 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Author: Roland Henry, Observer Staff Reporter


It took several excellent performances for Saturday night's birthday
celebration, thrown by Leroy Sibblies, to overcome a vehement campaign
by self-proclaimed marijuana advocate 'Bunny' Wailer, which angered
the fair-sized crowd at the King's House grounds.

In the presence of Prime Minister PJ Patterson, "Jah B" blatantly
condemned the Government for "not legalising the weed."

The artiste aggressively spoke at length about ganja's value to the
Jamaican economy saying: "all who don't smoke it, help to export it,
without ganja there would be no Jamaica," Wailer said during his
cover of the late Peter Tosh's Legalise It. At the end of the song, he
then proceeded to enter another round of arguments on the economic
viability of ganja and the hypocrisy among Government officials,
since, according to him, several of them are afraid to admit that they
export the substance.

While the PM, seated in the VIP area, appeared unperturbed by the
rant, the crowd did not take kindly to Wailer's impromptu soapbox
antics, clapping and shouting harsh words in a bid for him to be
removed from the stage.

As if on cue, Wailer walked off having said his piece, leaving the
venue in silence.

It is not known if the exit was premature. He did find time, however,
to include Easy Skankin' and No Woman No Cry, during which he spoke of
Bob Marley's importance to the development of reggae music.

"Bob sends a message that relates to the lesser privileged," the
former Wailer said, "and that is why audiences the world over
connected with his music."

With the crowd now annoyed at Wailer's display, it was left to veteran
crooner Freddie McGregor to elevate the vibe - and that he did.
McGregor's endearing vocals had women screaming in delight as he
performed Push Come to Shove and Stop Loving You. The maestro also
offered Don't Hurt My Feelings and Africa, the latter causing
delighted rocking amongst the previously disgruntled audience.

Birthday boy, Sibbles, was not to be outdone and also gave a
noteworthy performance. Performing in between acts, he treated the
crowd to a few of his classic hits including Fatty Fatty and I See Jah
Light. Former Heptone Barry assisted Sibbles during his performance of
Party Time - the artiste's signature song and the one which the
audience had been demanding since the veteran first entered the stage.

The sweet sounds from the horns incited prancing from Barry as he sang
on another standard, Book of Rules. Sibbles also performed a cover of
Toots Hibberts' 54-46 which led to a mini-dance craze among the
audience, before calling Little QQ on stage, describing the 10-year
old as "the future of reggae music." The latter performed two songs,
including his well-known hit, Poverty. The night also saw performances
from the "Lasco Man" Flourgan and dancehall veteran Lincoln "Sugar"
Minott. The former provided much entertainment with his set which
included a cover of Luther Vandross' So Amazing, Hol' A Fresh and
Shotta Bwoy- a song discouraging violence among youth.

The 'feel good' vibe was also set before Wailer's act by Gregory
Isaacs - who received three encores, Pam Hall and the evergreen Ken
Boothe. The how was fairly well supported and executed; however, Bunny
Wailer's inappropriate display marred an otherwise great birthday
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek