Chris Martin, one of Jamaica’s most recognised contemporary reggae artistes, warmed up a crowd numbering thousands on a chilly night in Harare, Zimbabwe, last weekend.
Performing covers of songs from some of reggae’s brightest stars as well as from his growing list of hits, Martin lit up the Glamis Stadium in such a manner those present will never forget.
Backed by his band Jamdonz, Martin opened with Pirates of the Caribbean, a song done on the ‘Break Away’ rhythm, that has been enjoying heavy rotation in the southern African nation.
It was the perfect start as the large gathering immediately began singing along, warming their own vocal chords and bodies in anticipation of the three-hour-long musical treat.
Reeling of songs like Let Her Go, Na Na Na, Baby I Love You and Paper Loving, Martin had the women in the audience spellbound. He connected with the rest of the audience when, periodically, he would use phrases in the tongue of the Shona people. This went over well with the audience which shouted “Tatenda!” in response at the end of each song.
He reeled off samples from entertainers such as Barrington Levy, Beenie Man, Jah Cure and Dennis Brown before delving into his own discography to include Cheater’s Prayer, Reggae Road Block, Big Deal, Mama, Watch Me Lord and of course, his most recent hit single, Steppin’, done with Busy Signal.
Prior to Martin’s set that was met with thunderous applause and cheers as it ended about 4 a.m., the audience was treated to solid sets from DMajor, Ninja Lipsy and Jah Prayzah.