Like yesterday, we arrived when the Reggae University was ending. That day, there was a conference about violence in Jamaica: “Who jump the gun? – Violence in contemporary Jamaica”. We expected to see Cocoa Tea there, as announced, but we probably arrived too late.
Musically-speaking, nothing much is going before Freddie Krueger enters the Main Stage preceding Groundation. Either way, there are plenty of stuff you can do like yoga or getting your hair done etc. It’s just that it wasn’t our cup of tea. So, we just went by, wandering around. We came across all kinds of things such as unusual bikes.
Besides music, the Rototom Sunsplash is also a great place to meet new people or old friends. That day, I —Krazygyal— reconnected with DJ Bubbles, from Toronto, who manages Island Beats Radio. We had not been in touch for years. Therefore, that was a really surprising, and pleasant encounter.
We have checked Groundation performance from afar, since we’re not really fans. Around 20:45, it started raining. Quickly, the Reggae University got really crowded. There you could watch the concert on a huge TV screen. Luckily, it was just temporary.
After the rain stopped, we went to the Lion Stage. There, Alpheus had just started. His performance was great. He put a lot of energy into it, dancing, and skanking. You could really feel how much he enjoyed performing there. Moreover, after the show, he took some times to give us an interview, which will soon be available on the website. So, watch out for it. Meanwhile, you can check out our pictures of the show here.
While we were interviewing Alpheus, Sly & Robbie had got on stage with Yellow Man. We arrived just in time to hear the end of his show. He looked sharp but his voice was kind of hoarse. Though, it is nice to see such a legend perform these days. Here again, we got lucky, and we had the opportunity to interview him. So look out for our interview of Yellow Man, coming soon.
Still backed by Sly & Robbie, Johnny Osbourne came next on the Main Stage. We had seen him in June at the Rio Loco Festival in Toulouse, France. We had missed half his concert because our car broke down but we had been able to interview him after the show. This time, we missed a part of his show because we were with Yellow Man.
Nevertheless, according to what we have seen and heard, Johnny Osbourne is still in pretty good shape. His voice is still smooth. His show seemed better this second time. It’s always a pleasure to hear classics like “No Ice Scream Love,” or “Truth & Rights.” The only downside during this concert at the Rototom was the sound of the keyboard. At a moment, the synth sounded light and breezy. It was odd to hear such tones while the “Sleng Teng” was being played.
After a break, it was the turn of Jimmy Cliff to go on stage. We saw him on the screen wearing a red jacket, and a black egyptian-like hat. Somehow, we were curious to see the opening, but we sort of got bored after 5 minutes of “By The Rivers of Babylon” accompanied by nyahbinghi percussions.
On the other side, the Dancehall stage was playing some of the most commercial EDM/Dancehall songs ever produced during the past 5 years. When we thought, it couldn’t be worse, Jimmy Cliff started singing the “Lion King” soundtrack: “Hakuna Matata.” We suppose that it was probably a very nice moment for the fans of the movie, and their children, but we’re more fond of the early career of Jimmy Cliff.
In the end, we didn’t stay for too long even though we would have loved to see King Addies on the Dancehall Stage. But we had to leave Spain the next day. Soon, our interviews of Alpheus and Yellow Man will be available on the website. So watch out. If you have been to the Rototom this year, do not hesitate to leave a comment below. Let us know what you thought of it.