after dark

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 April, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 April, 2003, 12:00am

You get the tickets. We've got the plan.

'Sun is rising, the weather is sweet,' as Bob Marley pointed out. Even if you don't believe him, you should: when it rains, reggae makes the sun shine. Easter is here, so let's celebrate life for a change. Forget the gloom, the doom and the pestilence and indulge in a refreshing slab of something nice. Rasta la vista, me darlin'.

The main event: Reggae - we need it, Hong Kong has very little of it. Life is just too fast for most people, and it's hard for those lazy, hazy sunshine vibes to register inside a 400-sq-ft flat on the 19th floor. However, Mikey Dread has been offering salvation with his dancefloor styles for two years now at Club 97, and in doing so has been at the helm of Central's sturdiest Sunday night. Others have come and gone, and with Liquid the latest to succumb to the school night blues, Mikey looks more determined to continue his 'wicked rudeness' and on Sunday he celebrates its second anniversary.

'Hong Kong has spent too long following what's fashionable, copying what happens overseas,' asserts the Dreadster. 'I want to give people a choice.' In doing so, his reggae/dancehall club night provides punters with a two-pronged assault. Dread spins what he calls 'rude, dancefloor stuff' while DJ Maggi (above right) is 'the Queen of soul and R&B'. Guesting is DJ Force, who plays reggae and hip-hop at some of the top clubs in New York and California, and also hosts a show on New York radio. He'll be around to spread the vibes in this special one-off performance. Dread hopes to keep building the night up, too: 'It's always been an unpredictable scene,' he admits, 'but in the future I'm looking to get some bands in.'

For now, he's all for dancing away the bleakness of the past few weeks. 'There's barely any reggae to be found in this town, and there's a huge market for Caribbean flavours. It's what this town needs! We need to sort it out, get smiling again.'

This could be just the ticket, especially as entry is freestyle. Bo! Reggae Night Second Anniversary. Sun, 8pm till late. Club 97, Lan Kwai Fong. Inquiries: 2810 9333.

A little refreshment: You'd be hard pushed to find a decent Caribbean menu anywhere in Hong Kong. Lee Scratch Perry's favourite dish of Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread? You'd be lucky, mate. However, Knutsford Terrace is buzzing these days, and good, old Bahama Mamas (4-5 Knutsford Terrace, tel: 2368 2121) is still serving Caribbean cocktails, music and outdoor seating with a daily 5pm-9pm happy hour. The Fussball table makes a welcome diversion, but be warned: the regulars are champions.

Can't get enough?: Check out DJ Red, who spins reggae classics every Thursday night at Chemical Suzy (2 Austin Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2736 0087).