Beres delivers

Concert review

Beres Hammond lovers waited patiently for seven long years for his return to these shores.

And sure enough, they were in seventh heaven as the maestro of hypnotic love songs crooned and seduced with that delightful gravelly voice for 90 precious minutes at Sparky Drive last Friday.

The evening started with some excellent local acts, including Impulz Band, Stuart Wilson and the Love Culture Band, Jah Shawn, Jah Mikes and Wassi.

Emceed smoothly by DJ Docta with music supplied by Triple C, the crowd was suitably warmed by before veteran performer Tinga Stewart appeared at 12.20am. His entertaining set included his hits Cover Me and Tek Time to Know, interspersed with classic pop and soul numbers like The Tide is High, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? and Dream Lover. That lasted for half an hour.

Concert promoter Dwayne Seymour of Music Mogul has pursued Hammond forever to come here, even going to Atlanta to talk to his management. The pursuit was worth every ounce of effort.

Hammond is already a reggae legend and with the quality of love songs he dispenses so effortlessly to an adoring fan base of millions he should be a mainstream artist many times over.

But that is the measure of the man who strode on to the stage at 1.20am typically dressed in jeans, peak cap, vest and white shirt. Humble and down to earth are two descriptions often used of him as if still coming to terms with his burgeoning celebrity.

But when Hammond, 52, sings, the uniqueness of his delivery is anything but ordinary. The depth and profundity of his lyrics are too.

Backed by the Harmony House Band and three Singles backing singers, Hammond bounced on stage to She Loves Me Now.

Just in case the crowd of more than 2,000 wasn’t paying attention he went into Standing In My Way.

Reeling off some more classics, the crowd swayed in unison before finding another notch of excitement with Tempted to Touch, one of his biggest hits in a fabulous career spanning nearly 40 years.

After the ever popular Can You Play Some More the band took turns in showing off their virtuosity on their instruments and the Singles all did a cameo.

The young women at the front knew every word and every time he came within touching distance finger tips were outstretched to an appreciative Hammond who constantly bounced around, energising the vibe.

A slower period followed as he sang two lesser known songs. ‘Those were for my family,’ he said, sweeping his arms towards the crowd.

More wonderful numbers followed including Love Means Never to Say You’re Sorry, Rockaway and Come Down Father.

A couple more classics later and it was all over. ‘How do you say thank you?’ he said, clapping. ‘Cayman, my family, I love you.’