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About Chronixx Somerset House show: this is NOT a review

So basically, I went to Chronixx's show at the prestigious Somerset House on Sunday. Had the time of my life again. Decided I'm not gonna write a review on Monday because what else is there to say? I've seen him five times (six if you include the time babylon locked off proceedings cos of curfew in Jamaica. Seven if you include his appearance at Rebel Salute) and been impressed every time. How do I keep retelling the same story? "You have to see this guy. It is one of the best shows you will experience in these times," will forever be the moral.

If you wanna read a review of this show go here. You can take in my reviews of Chronixx in 2014 and 2013. If you wanna do that and wanna hear what I've got to say, stay here.


But I decided I have to show my appreciation in some way. Even if this post is just something for me to remember the experience and what I thought of it in years to come, I'm doing something. And I realise I do have something to say apart from the obvious. And it was yet another moment in time that I feel I should document.

For those who aren't familiar with the greatest city in the world, Somerset House is literally steps away from the Lyceum Theatre. Those who are familiar with the Lycuem, know it for Lion King the musical which has been going on for years. However, reggae fans will know it for another lion, Bob Marley. Bob's first live album, "Live!", is what the good folks at Island credited as the moment when everyone (the rock fans) finally got Bob. The famous live version of "No Woman, No Cry" featured on the set.



Anyway, Somerset House is not far from there. Chronixx is at a completely different stage to Bob. Bob was six albums deep, Chronixx has one EP. Bob released his first album for ten years prior, Chronixx released his first single four years ago. Same soup, different (hard) food/ground provisions. Not comparing journeys, every man does his thing a little way different.

Chronixx managed to sell out a 3,000 capacity venue with six days to go. Reggae concerts rarely sell out in advance due to us thinking it isn't going to sell out so no need to scramble for tickets on release day. Scala sold out days before, Electric the same now Somerset House even earlier. Watch the scramble next time.

Somerset House was Queen Elizabeth I's residence once upon a time. I doubt more than a handful of reggae artists have played there. Definitely not any who weren't around in the 70s. They do have a reggae night at their Christmas ice skating though. And the Summer Series events featured a range of acts from a variety of genres including platinum-selling pop singer Jessie J, owner of last years 3rd best-selling album (behind Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith respectively) George Ezra, 2015's hotly-tipped singer-songwriter guitar-plucker James Bay, to bluesman Gary Clark Jr., and electro-funk don Chromeo.



Basically, what I'm saying is this was a pretty big deal. Not only for Chronixx but for a reggae singer. You see, reggae is something people like to write-off more than they celebrate. It doesn't get in with the "urban" crowd cos it isn't from the black community in a white country like here or USA. It's said to be too rootsy for white people and not blingy or freaky enough for the young black audience. Let me tell you something, this is what people who don't experience reggae say. Go to any of the big European festivals or even a reggae show in town. It isn't the soundtrack of young blacks like it was in the 80s, but it still touches.

And because it isn't in the charts 'cos it isn't supported by the majors, people are unaware of what or who's hot. You know how most journalists only report on stuff that everybody else in their circle talks about unless its the hot new act they've learnt about from their inbox. Reggae doesn't exist in their world. But you know what, I've been to sold out shows by Chronixx and Protoje this year so, so it set ya.



Next thing, probably the last thing I wanna say is, music that touches people is much better than force-feeding. I've witnessed "Here Comes Trouble" grow and grow, and grow, and... Literally, if I had one complaint of the show it'd be "Here Comes Trouble" should've been the show closer. Go out with a bang after "News Carrying Dread" with Inner Circle medley "Sweat (La La Long)" and "Tenement Yard" interpolated. "Here Comes Trouble" was a highly rated song back in the day, and we all have favourites, but we can all agree it is now his signature song. (Just seen it sits on 8m views on YouTube.)

And that's the moral of Chronixx's career; great music at the right time experienced and shared by the people. The way music is supposed to be received. And that's why his concerts keep getting bigger and bigger. I mean, in theory he sold over a thousand more tickets than he did last year with no big hit. Dread & Terrible EP has grown in appeal in that time, but still. "Capture Land" wasn't a hit last year, but drew a bigger response this year, especially the "Here comes the teefin' (thieving) Queen from England" which was quite apt considering the regal surroundings.



So basically, roots (or soul) is everlasting. Quality over hype. We live in this digital age where we think anything that isn't on our timeline doesn't exist but hear what, those people there on Sunday weren't there through trendy hype job media. That was love and genuine supporters. He has built a solid core fan base who tell their mates, who then go to YouTube and stream is material, like it and rate the ting. 'Cos, although there's a lot of distractions based on who knows who and who backs who, deep down, it's still a quality rules time. Hype only gets you so far. Remember the song is still the key.

Big up Chronixx for providing a momentous occasion. Again. If you haven't seen him, go! He creates history every time. As I said, I've seen him 5 times and each time is a different experience, but similar in that you leave feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for life.

p.s. Chronixx is a dancehall artist making roots reggae music. When he kicked into the dancehall side on Odd Ras, maaaaate, forwards upon forwards the man get. And he didn't do "Beat & A Mic", "Champion", "Most I" or "Dread" which are some personal faves. And it didn't matter.

As Buju Banton famously said, "Only Rasta can liberate the people".

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