20 August 2017
The stage saw the legend of reggae alongside the duet of U Roy and Big Youth
Luciano was in very good shape and closed the last big party this year on the Main Stage with a great load of gospel, singing the great ‘When the saints go marching in’. Joined by the British rhythmic wizards Mafia & Fluxi, the singer coming from the Jamaican Parish of Manchester gave life to a vibrant show. As it is usual in him, Luciano touched the crowd with his beautiful voice and with furious movements got into a symbolic fight for the prevalencia of truth over the forces of evil. He came on stage dressed with his ‘Rasta soldier’ uniform covered in many layers, which he later took off as the temperature of the show rose, somersaulting on the stage as usual, making the audience flip out.
Among his best songs we highlight ‘Give praise’, ‘Who could it be’ that towards the end changed to a swing rhythm, ‘Jah give me strength’, ‘Sweep over my soul’ and a heartfelt tribute to the “prince” Dennis Brown with ‘Deliverance has come’ driven by the impetuous stepper rhythm played by Mafia & Fluxi. Before Luciano’s show, Amparanoia were the protagonists of an optimum repertoire that emphasized the great influence of black music in their creations, among which we could hear the syncopated rhythms that Ámparo Sánchez likes so much. Sharing the same attitude as her friend Manu Chao, this singer mixes Spanish music with the rhythms of the south of the world on routes that go from Jamaica to Africa, passing through the Mississippi delta, Mexico and Cuba. From the beginning of the concert, the brass section transmitted a heated sound, particularly when they evoked Manu and his Mano Negra band with a musical allusion to their ‘King Kong Five’. Also, there was room for a version of ‘Oye como va’ by Tito Puente. The reggae fans at the festival also seemed to like this wonderful presentation.
The opening concert had already rewarded the audience with a wild moment with two pillars in the history of reggae such as U Roy and Big Youth, together on the stage singing a cover of ‘Cool breeze’ and the DJ cut of ‘Stop that train’ by Keith & Tex. In chronological order, the first vocalist to appear on the stage joined by the Robotiks under the technical supervision of Mad Professor, was Nadine Sutherland, a grand lady of reggae in her first appearance at the festival. Her performance was brief but intense, featuring the dancehall classic hit ‘Action’, as well as the roots sounds of her recent ‘Inna me blood’, produced by Mad Professor.
Then came the triumph of the “deejay style” with the arrival of U Roy, the man who created the modern phase of this art starting an evolutionary line that, through the exploits of characters like Yellowman, Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton and Beenie Man, this style is still active nowadays. At 65 years of age, the magic of Mr. Beckfort‘s voice remains virtually intact and this champion transported us into the past with his super classic ‘Wake the town’ or ‘Tide is high’, while he could not forget his beautiful version of ‘Soul Rebel’ from The Wailers of Bob Marley. Before the magic duet, Big Youth came on stage, vitalising his show between “conscience” and friendly gestures to the crowd. He began his set with ‘I pray thee’ and ‘Every nigger is a star’ and then continued with references to the great soul with ‘What’s going on’ by Marvin Gaye in reference to the tragic event that happened in Barcelona, and ‘Hit the road Jack’, extracted from the music catalogue of Ray Charles. The Sunsplash 2017 could not be closed in a better way.