When it comes to longevity, Third World compare to any band in the world, whatever genre.
For nearly 40 years they have been entertaining reggae lovers with their unique brand and it was a wonderful experience to witness the veterans in full flow.
There was a modest crowd at the Royal Watler cruise terminal last Friday night, but it didn’t matter; the love flowing in the band’s direction more than made up for it.
Annoyingly for some, Bermudan dancehall star Collie Buddz did not make it on stage. Rumour has it he didn’t even reach the island. Pity, hearing his biggest hit Come Around would have been a highlight. But thankfully, Third World more than made up for the absence.
We were suitably warmed up by a succession of excellent local acts including Local Motion 345, Impulz Band, ReGeneration Band, Vanguard and Mr. Notch who sang covers of reggae and R’n’B ballads.
Third World took to the stage just after 1am with Rugs at the mic. Bassist Ritchie Daley had just received an award on behalf of the Cayman government from Mike Adam, minister for community affairs and housing. It was Daley’s birthday, too, so he had a lot to celebrate.
The hits came out in quick succession, including Sense of Purpose which was dedicated to all the Jamaicans there, but the crowd didn’t really ignite until the universal anthem 96-Degrees In the Shade reached their ears.
Then followed a bongo performance by percussionist Tony Robson before band leader Cat Coore moved things on.
We were treated to classics like Reggae Ambassador, Forbidden Love and Shine Like a Blazing Fire before the inevitable finale with their best known work, Now That We’ve Found Love. The O’Jays first recorded it but Third World made it their own.
They left, but the die-hard fans insisted on more and Cat came back to treat us to a virtuoso performance on cello.
Third World may have been around forever but they still retain a freshness that should carry them for a long time yet.
The concert was sponsored in part by the Ministry of Culture and the Observer on Sunday.