Lee Perry is well into his eighties and is not starting to show signs of slowing down. Me and Kathryn called into the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds to see him last night and the gig was awesome.
We got there around eight thirty in time for the tail end of the support act – it was billed to be Karl Blau but there seemed to be a reggae covers band on – not to worry, the lady had a strong voice and the rhythm section was tight with good keys. They warmed up the crowd and got people moving.
Then Perry’s band came out – we were stood behind the sound guy (he was using a MIDAS system) and had the best sound in the room. They jammed out a few instrumentals and then The Upsetter cam on stage dressed in his magical finery.
He paced up and down the stage warning all about the dangers of organised religion whilst sipping on Ginger Wine and smoking inside the venue – the place stank of weed and Kathryn was grinning from ear to ear.
The crowd was very friendly and it re-cemented my belief that the Brudenell is one of the best venues in the country.
Perry mumbled his way lucidly through the biggest reggae songs of the twentieth century – all of which he penned himself. He had forgotten half of the words to the songs after the first few opening lines and he needed to be reminded of the playlist that they had agreed to play that night in Leeds – it was a technically a shambles.
But it was the best shambles I have been to. Technically, terrible – but, the most fun gig I have had the pleasure of attending. The crowd adored Perry and he pranced around the stage at eighty years young wearing his customised head gear and mirrored denim jacket.
I love the music – but, after tonight, I think I love the man more.