Ladies give Startime vocal lift
On Saturday night, The Original Startime delivered on its promise of top-line performers of retro hit songs by some our standing rocksteady and classic rhythm and blues. The makeshift concert hall of the National Arena was not filled to capacity, but performers like Xylophone, Gem Myers and Derrick Morgan managed to fill it with their voices and the accompanying choir of a roused audience.
Eleven year old Xylophone impressed patrons with her confidence and undeniable skills of a veteran. The youngster delivered a skilful, controlled performance of Stick By Me by John Holt, a sensational cover of Lift It Up Again by Pinchers and closed with an ambitious cover of Minnie Riperton's Loving You. Loving You's falsetto runs proved a bit challenging for the young performer, but she maintained her composure, like a great singer on a cold day.
Gem Myers, introduced as Jamaica's best cabaret performer, took the stage immediately after. As though juxtaposing past and present, Myers conquered the top-end of the scale with a breath-defying rendition of Jennifer Holiday And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going, a feat for Xylophone's future.
Also in performance were Derrick Morgan, who had the audience jigging along with his scats from Reggae Train and Forward March.
Other performers at The Original Startime were Mike Betz, aka Third World Don, DJ Dennis Alcapone, Ken Boothe and The Manhattans.