Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gangs featuring Johnny Osbourne @ Asagiri Jam – It’s A Beautiful Day! (Oct. 12th, 2014)

Dub and reggae masters reign supreme
Live Report Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gangs featuring Johnny Osbourne @ Asagiri Jam – It’s A Beautiful Day! (Oct. 12th, 2014)

Sly & Robbie

Living legends of dub and reggae in every sense of the word, Sly & Robbie were back in Japan. They were here playing selected shows at upscale jazz club, Blue Note in Tokyo and Nagoya. Luckily in between all their Blue Note sets they made the trek up to the mountains to irie up Mt. Fuji and the masses at Asagiri Jam. They’ve been rocking and jamming together as a team since the mid 1970′s and can still lay down rhythms with the best of them. They’ve worked with countless top artists over the years from Bob Dylan to Mick Jagger, Peter Tosh, Madonna, even Britney Spears. Robbie Shakespeare looked a little tired, and Sly Dunbar a little slouched over in the back on his drum kit, but as soon as the sound hit, we all knew every little thing was gonna be alright.

Johnny OsbourneIt would have been a treat to just listen to these two play with their taxi gang and dub out some classics to the massive. However on this cool Sunday evening outside, the true fire was blazed. Another living legend of the Jamaican reggae and dance hall scene graced us with his presence, Mr. “Buddy Bye” himself, Johnny Osbourne.

The combination was truly special; either act could headline a show but together they kept Asagiri ablaze nonstop for the entire length of the set. The Taxi gang along with Sly & Robbie started things out easing us in with some swinging, dubby goodness. We were treated to a few classics such as “Swing Easy” and “Taxi Rhythm”. The sound drew people in from afar, Jamaican flags waved in the air and positive vibes flourished. When the crowd was nicely warmed up, it was time for Johnny Osbourne to come out and bring the real heat. He whipped up the band and the masses below into a frenzy as he dropped smash dance hall and reggae anthems such as “Jah Promise” and “All I Have Is Love”. Johnny Osbourne His voice boomed and sounded great despite or perhaps because he has been performing some forty-five years now. The show came to a close with Osbourne’s classic hit “Buddy Bye”, a tune I think most in attendance were hoping he would perform. As with most of the big tunes of the set and in the Jamaican sound clash tradition, the track was instantly reloaded to be played again from the beginning. For many at Asagiri Jam this was their last set, as people generally head back a bit early in order to catch the last trains or buses. For those people, myself included, what a way to go out; all the massive in front of the main stage were singing along, waving hands from side to side, dancing and grooving. The irie spirit oozed and dubbed all the way to the top of Mt. Fuji and beyond.

Sly & Robbie

–>Photo Report :
Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gangs featuring Johnny Osbourne
or Deadbeat & Paul St Hilaire

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Photos:
Yutaro Suzuki
yutaro@smashingmag.net
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Yutaro Suzuki's Works

Text:
James Mallion
james@smashingmag.net

James Mallion's Works

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