Horace Andy and Lee 'Scratch' Perry
The Arches, Glasgow, Thu 23 Nov
As an evergreen and optimistic worldwide phenomenon, reggae music is the undisputed good time king, and this fortnight offers the opportunity to witness two of the sound’s pre-eminent emissaries sharing the same stage. Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry needs little introduction as the eccentric producer and dub pioneer behind a staggering catalogue of artists, albums and riddims of import from reggae’s sun-kissed halcyon days. Horace Andy made his name in the same searing heat of Studio One’s rocksteady heatwave, at first unaware of his distinctive vocal lilt. ‘I just couldn’t believe it, I was thinking about other things’ says Andy of his early success. ‘I wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix, I wasn’t thinking about singing. Then they started to tell me I had a good voice and I started learning the guitar and the singing at the same time.’
Perhaps better known on these shores nowadays for a continued affiliation with Massive Attack, Andy remains one to embrace the present and ease on into the future. ‘I like what the youth are doing, because I remember when I was young my mum and her friends, they gave me a hard time saying that’s not music’ says Andy on the varying forms of reggae that followed his and Perry’s own heyday.
‘Times do change, music everywhere in the world changes. I don’t mind what the youths are doing, it’s the same reggae music, it’s just that the beat done change. The one love is still there. It’s the youth’s time; they put out their own style. A lot of people complain about the youth but they must remember that they were once youth also and did the same.’
In Andy’s eyes these two conscious reggae heavyweights, along with all reggae’s successes, owe their longevity to the art form’s spirituality and positive message, ‘One love. Bless, bless, bless.’