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Heineken Startime

Western Bureau:

FRANKIE PAUL TURNED the chockfull Mas Camp Village on Oxford Road, St. Andrew, into a 'clap han' church hall on, appropriately enough, Sunday morning.

The seventh of the 'Magnificent Eight' to kick off the Heineken Startime 16 season, Frankie Paul worked a set which featured his hits such as Kushumpeng and Alicia and filled out with familiar songs such as Just Once and Under Pressure

After he did the hit Sarah, though, Frankie Paul switched the vibe, starting the chorus A Little More Oil.

Curiously enough, the tidal wave of feeling started from the back, where there was still a little bit of room left to 'tun yu roll', as Frankie Paul moved into Real Real, the hands going up and the spirit moving like a magnet towards the front and the thickest section of the crowd.

It Soon Be Done and Sweet Jesus had the hands going up - and then Frankie Paul hit Rastaman Chant and there was pandemonium. He held a long note on 'home' through the thunderous applause, opening his arms wide and seeming about to take flight himself.

An encore was demanded and delivered, starting with I Wanna Rock With You Baby and moving into a medley which covered Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely and the classic One In A Million.

On a high quality night, Frankie Paul was followed by show closer Alton Ellis, who performed even as many called it quits and made their way to the exit. Weeping Willow was an effective opener and, promising 'the sound of the 60s', Ellis delivered Winner and Girl I've Got A Date, at times causing the line snaking to the exit to pause for a singing and dancing cause. As many as those who left, though, there were hordes remaining to sing along to Let Him Try,Breaking Up Is Hard To Do and the closing Dancecrasher.

And there were not so much as to totally wreck Ellis' call of 10 seconds of silence for Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd.

The night was not without two notable hiccups, in the Lloyd Parkes and We The People band breaking into a gallop momentarily where a trot was required on Ernie Smith's opening Life Is Just For Living and John Holt getting to start his opening Tribal War in the middle of the first verse. However, the huge crowd ("me cyaan see no space," Ernie Smith remarked) was not in a nitpicking mood and both went on to give good sets.

MCs for the show were Don Topping and Ron Burke of Mystic 1780 Radio in Miami.

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May 18, 2004

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