Dreadlocks have never been part of local culture, but reggae music is making a comeback. Thumping bass lines are creating the vibe at the Jah Bar every Thursday night and at Club 97's Guiding Star parties on Sunday nights, while the success of locally based acoustic drum outfit Djembe Massive is helping restore traditional rhythms on to a jaded music scene.
'For the past two or three years it's been all house music,' laments Mikey Dread, an engineer by day and DJ by night. 'Even bar and club managers weren't interested in pushing a different sound because they thought there was no money in it. Now we're proving them wrong.'
Dread, along with fellow reggae stalwart Rude Boy Johnson, say the nights at Jah and Club 97, which also feature soul and R&B, are filling up. 'We get young people and those in their 40s and 50s. There's a good mix,' says Dread.
Promoter David Andrews says he organised the event after hearing of a dearth of live reggae acts. 'I think you can run these type of events every few months, but there is a finite interest,' he cautions.
Dread is more optimistic. 'Hopefully Clinton Fearon's appearance will help us get something more regular going,' he adds.