We set sail for Jamaica, a reggae shanty never far from proceedings! A pleasingly fat bass sound welcomes us into the title track- always an excellent sign of life. The horns are in fine voice, too. That’s a nice round two ticks in the plus column.
A party atmosphere rocks this particular boat, the only time worth having clearly a good one in the eyes of this band of rogues. Any hint of discontent is wrapped up in a tight beat & filtered through a prism, the hope of attracting a ”streggae”or two aboard this party boat to while away an evening a fair means by which to pass the time.
As the great Toots Hibbert of Toots & The Maytals once said- ”There’s a word we used to use in Jamaica called ‘streggae’. If a girl is walking and the guys look at her and say ‘Man, she’s streggae’ it means she don’t dress well, she look raggedy. The girls would say that about the men too.
This one morning me and my two friends were playing and I said, ‘OK man, let’s do the reggay.’ It was just something that came out of my mouth. So we just start singing ‘Do the reggay, do the reggay’ and created a beat. People tell me later that we had given the sound its name. Before that people had called it blue-beat and all kind of other things. Now it’s in the Guinness World of Records. ”
Whatever you call it, its remarkably fluid. And if it’s a good old fashioned dance you need you’ve come to the right place. The spirits of the Monkey Men dwell here, & they compel you to have a good time! Indeed it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine this lot back on dry land playing some ethnic melting pot like the Notting Hill Carnival.
Events like these are surely what sounds like that were made for in the first place? Sun streaming in, can of Red Stripe in your hand & not a care in the world as you flop about like a man or woman possessed. Which is just fine as no-one’s judging you, most likely doing similar themselves! A sort of collective trance state if you will.
Loose limbs & open minds apply within……..
By Chris Morley