Chalice remains sacred to fans

A crowd of roughly 250 people
braved inclement weather and a late change of venue to attend an evening of
song and celebration with veteran reggae act Chalice on Friday, 21 May. 

Amid the usual suspects, the show
attracted many visitors and tourists, who helped to create a special
atmosphere.

With tunes like Jump, Dangerous
Disturbance and Wicked Intentions, the Lion’s Centre was entranced under the
pulse of the band, which came to prominence in the 1980s.

Concert goers were also treated to
performances from Local Motion, featuring Notch, as well as a set from Lammie
of the Memory of Justice Band that is to this day, regarded as one the most
successful musical endeavours the Cayman Islands have been associated with to
date.

The band is best known for hits
like Me and me Crew, which received chart success in Jamaica and throughout the
Caribbean.

The 80s were a time of great
cooperation between musicians in the Cayman Islands and their counterparts in
Jamaica and the night’s line-up paid homage to a time when social politics and
patriotism did not dictate the relationships between musicians from different
countries and instead beats and rhythms gave were the focus.

Chalice took the stage at about 11.30pm
on Friday night, members of the band danced in sequence, stopping and starting
at the drop of a dime, with instruments in hand. The men then proceeded to deliver
a vast catalogue of music that spanned two hours.

There were to be encores as well,
with the band having to come back on stage several times to quench the
audience’s appetite for a full course of roots rock reggae.

Sweat dripping from head to toe,
the men faithfully returned each time the audience beckoned them for more. “A
song, A song, a song, to make the whole world sing,” they chanted, before the
band got into the airily familiar dancehall philharmonic orchestra that
featured vocal ranges that stretched somewhere over the rainbow and
musicianship that was classically grounded.

Complementing the enchanting sounds
of Chalice were the chants of the audience, who sang most of the songs word for
word in unison with the band.

The evening climaxed when Lammie
and Charles Gregory of Memory of Justice joined the headliners on stage for a
rendition of Me and me Crew, bringing the audience to a frenzy and providing
attendees with tangible evidence of the unique musical connection that Cayman
and Jamaica have shared through the years.

A Regional Recognition award was
presented to the veteran entertainers by the Cayman Music and Entertainment
Association for their ambassadorship of reggae music and the influence they
have had on musicians in the Cayman Islands.

Officials said they felt it was
important to extend this honour to Chalice and other bands that have played a
role in music cultivation throughout the Caribbean, to re-energise the synergy
that is so essential to future growth.

“I am also celebrating 30 years of
performing this year and to know that these guys are still growing, still
captivating audiences and bringing that same fire that was present when I was
doing my thing with the juveniles, is quite amazing. We are always pleased to
have Chalice visit the Cayman Islands and the love we feel, no doubt has been
transmitted by all who came out to enjoy Friday’s concert,” commented Music
Association President Jean Smith.

The scent of food being cooked on
the fire made the evening complete and the serenity and camaraderie that
prevailed in the 1980s reigned again in Cayman, if only for one night.

All proceeds from the
bar on the evening will benefit the Crisis Centre, according to
organisers. 

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Chalice heats up the Lions Centre.
Photo: Stuart Wilson
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