20 August 2018
A rotation of sounds, checks and “liquid” musical experiments
Kicking off the first live show on the fourth day of the Lion Stage, there were only a few rays of sunlight remaining but when the people started to sit and to get up against the fences in front of the stage, the sky was still clear.
A small unexpected crowd showed up to the sound check of the young (but expert) French artist called Biga Ranx. Alongside the faithful Atili, who is said to be one of the best European artists in the style named liquid dub. His performance, alongside the DJ and selector, was simply spectacular. It combined dub, reggae, dancehall and hip-hop rhythms and they grew like the solemn walk of a clever and wise animal. Biga Ranx commanded the crowd of young people that flocked around the stage, singing and dancing to songs that will become big hits in the coming months.
The return of Akatz to the Lion Stage was welcomed with a huge reception by lovers of syncopated, fast and potent ska rhythms. They’ve had a career of 20 years on their backs and so, so much passion for what they sing and perform, turning Aktaz into one of the best ska-reggae bands in the Iberian territory. It was a special show that was full of energy and captivating dynamism that they shared with the audience, which makes them one of the favourites in their genre.
The main course of the evening was the show from Skarra Mucci alongside Dub Akom as the accompanying band. The offering was one of the most interesting; the Jamaican came to Europe in the mid-90s to be influenced in a definitive way, finding a resounding sound with a strong and rounded sound. His lyrical and music impact sets him apart from the rest. Modern roots interpreted in a masterful way, with dancehall variations, as much expected as unexpected by the crowd, meant the audience never stopped dancing for a second, recognising the Kingstonian, who is famous in Rototom, as a leader in his genre.
Closing the night was Rafeelya with the New Life Band; artists made in England who rose to fame in the reggae world when they explosively won the Britain’s Got Reggae competition. There was a massive crowd from the UK, as much in front of the stage as online. Anecdotally, the presenter for this artist and her band, was none other than the well-known and legendary Cecil Ruben, from the London reggae club Hottenanny. The crowd applauded heartily and with a lot of warmth. We’re looking forward to seeing the group evolve.
Written by Paul Stones. Translated by Càrol Ferré and Finn Darco