Having just got back from a bonkers weekend at Global Gathering, you’d think most people would sit back and relax. You’d probably pour yourself a luscious bath and get an early night’s rest… but not Vanessa Carby. Having lugged a tent, suitcase & extra luggage across the country from Stratford- Upon- Avon to South West London, I decided to hop on a train to Brixton to celebrate the Regeneration of Bob Marley Way.
There were carnival dancers, free samples of Marley’s Mellow Mood drinks and a helping of steel pan players. As soon as I arrived, I could sense the community spirit and hosts Ras Kwarme and MC Logic really got the crowds going when the rain fell from time to time. The event that ran from 1 to 6pm was dotted with superb reggae, soul and grime acts and I was lucky enough to catch Lady Leshurr, Sway, Soul 2 Soul, Crazy Cousinz, Devlin & special guest Maverick Sabre… pretty epic for a free gig situated between some flats and houses (some spectators even watched from the dryness of their own homes) but seriously, you couldn’t beat the vibe from the crowd. You could really believe how iconic Bob Marley was to people as may donned Jamaican colours and & Bob Marley motifs. The highlight of the afternoon had to be when Cedella and Julian Marley appeared on stage (that’s Bob Marley’s son and daughter I type with my mouth ajar.) I had the absolute honour of meeting Julian for a quick snap and as the rest of the street was also as eager to meet a legend’s son. Cedella & Julian were humbled to see so many fans at the event and explained how Brixton was close to their daddy’s heart. There was something about the mellow but thriving atmosphere that kept me energized but I guess it’s not too difficult to wine and two- step to reggae and the Regeneration Celebration was a nice reminder that the Notting Hill Carnival is less than a month away. I would not have missed the day for anything as being a massive Bob Marley and being half Jamaican I felt obliged to go and be a part of a moving event. It would have been a crime if the event didn’t sample Bob’s hits but it was a bigger crime that the event wasn’t longer as the audience and I yearned for more classic hits.
And don’t forget that Jamaica is celebrating 50 years of independence with tonnes of events celebrating Reggae music and culture over the summer… One Love!
Written by Vanessa Carby