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Tarrus Riley review in London on 3rd August

So after Brixton Splash, I travelled north to touch down at the Tarrus Riley 'Love Situation' tour. Upon walking in I was greeted by the crowd rocking to selections by Allan Brando and DJ Sir Corey aka Doops Squad. They were playing anthems-upon-anthems. Big sing along after sing along by a cross section of artists; from Freddie McGregor, Sanchez, Beres Hammond and Garnett Silk to Jah Cure, Richie Spice and Chronixx.

First up was UK reggae artist I've been tipping since 2012, Randy Valentine. Happy to see this guy picking up so much steam and support. But anyway, he delivered a short but sweet performance. Opening with Break The Chain's intro "Dear People", before raising the tempo with "Lock Me Up", couple other songs, before ending on my favourite from the EP, motivational "Carry On".



Alaine is a singer I rate but didn't expect much of live. I wasn't sure how her high vocals would carry live. Much to my surprise, her voice has a lot more depth than expected. Alaine is essentially a female balladeer, which can sometimes become a bit monotonous after a while, however, she added variety, whether mixing the arrangements of the song, holding powerful notes longer, three-part harmonies with backing singers sounding like a small choir or sitting by the piano (as she did with final song "No Ordinary Love"). Really good support set. Songs ranged from opener  "Rise In Love", to "Bye Bye Bye", "Without You", "Up" and "Deeper" before ending on the aforementioned "No Ordinary Love". All were well-received. Good debut London performance.

(Wish she did "Sacrifice" in full though instead of during "Deeper" because that's one of the first songs I really felt by her.)

Headliner didn't disappoint. When does Tarrus Riley ever disappoint? Let's think about this properly. He's the ultimate showman, band's tight and creative, and Dean Fraser is a sight in itself. Awesome saxophonist. Tarrus, dressed in all black three-piece-suit + darkers (before switching to his spectacles) delivered a ;engthy and varied set; ran through the tempos, styles and influences that range within reggae and dancehall showcasing the versatile catalogue. Rifled through the first (maybe) 15 songs in medley fashion. One verse, chorus, move on. It didn't feel as though we were being short-changed on our favourite songs.



Like Alaine, Tarrus brought through various elements such as a Buju Banton tribute including the "Untold Stories" collaboration with Dean Fraser on sax,  lead guitarist playing a solo before "Sorry is a Sorry Word", even a little sing-song of the Jamaican national anthem. Oh, and if the duet/classic covers clash with Alaine wasn't enough, an appearance from his father performing "Love and Devotion" almost flattened the building. What a roar of approval.

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