Review: Hammond & Cup Match Summer Splash

July 30, 2018

[Written by Mikaela Ian Pearman]

“The way you make me feel, from deep down in my soul, I’m losing all control, girl I can’t fight this feeling”.

The beautiful melody flowed from the speakers at the National Stadium on Saturday night. The crowd joined in and sang every single word.

The only singer it could be is Beres Hammond. He first came to Bermuda in 1975 – long before I was even thought of – and now more than 40 years later, he can still command the attention of a Bermudian audience.

Hammond performed for night one of Cup Match Summer Splash with his Harmony House band to a large, very engaged crowd.

Coming on the stage at 12:45am, his energy was high and he entertained from start to finish. His band kicked off the set performing Come Around by Bermuda’s star Collie Buddz and Lioness on the Rise by Queen Africa. Moments later, the King of Lovers Rock blessed the stage with his stunning vocals.

His band was a full ten-piece band and probably the best I’ve seen in awhile. I didn’t doubt Hammond would have a great band, but his was truly superior. From the awesome guitarist to the horns to the high energy back up singers, they came to give an exemplary, musically advanced show.

Hammond sang hit after hit including Rockaway, They Gonna Talk, I Feel Good, No Disturb Sign, What One Dance Can Do, Sweet Lies, She Loves Me Now, Step Aside, Tempted to Touch, Putting Up Resistance, Can You Play Some More and the list goes on and on.

The audience sang song after song, word for word and were so captivated by Hammond. It was a beautiful sight. I think I kept a smile on my face during the entire set, even while I was belting out the songs.

But Hammond wasn’t the entire show. Opening the event was the Full Watts Band from New York. Bermudian Daniel Frith, also known as Uzimon, was part of the trio. It was refreshing to see him perform as Daniel Frith.

Reggae legend Johnny Osborne followed and his vocals were on point. At 70, he hasn’t really missed a beat, which was awesome. His songs included No Ice Cream Sound, People Are You Ready, Buddy Bye and more.

After his set, Bootsie came to the stage to entertain the crowd with a few jokes followed by one of my favs, Jugglin J, who played music to spread love in Bermuda.

I rate Jugglin J and after this night, I respect him even more. He played old school reggae songs by Barrington Levy, Bittie McClean, Bob Marley, Buju Banton and then fused into a preview of Wednesday night’s event with Chronixx. His set was a highlight of the night.

Cup Match Summer Splash is off to an excellent start. I can’t wait til Wednesday night to see ChronDadda.

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