A JMD 700 taxi ride takes us from the Half Way Tree area to Spanish Town road, Tivoli Gardens. Inner City Dub is a weekly Monday session that takes place in a Welding Shop. A large concrete yard, half of it with a tin roof. Two impressive walls of speakers make the roof tremble. The alarms of the cars parked immediately in front of the venue, pounded by the bass, go off continuously. The music sounds even more impressive than any of the Kingston sessions we've been to. The sound reminds me of the 18inch Dub Corner on the Belgian Reggae Geel festival. When a tune's intro comes in, you're just waiting for the bass to kick in. And when it does you don't just hear it, you feel it.
We arrived early tonight, at around 10.30 pm. Vendors are out in front and there's nuff food: meals, soups, Benji's veggie patties, fruits and more. There's people outside by the vendors but the yard is still empty. It will gradually fill up, but even after 2 pm it isn't packed to capacity. There's a lot of tourists though, I'd say they make up half of the crowd. There are tables in the yard but no chairs at all, very characteristic for a Jamaican event. I see some of the tourists eyeing the yard for a place to sit down for a while but the only contraption you can possibly sit on is the little staircase in front of the bar. The three 'seats' available will be taken for the rest of the night.
The early vibes are served by the legendary UK sound system Jah Observer. Jah Observer comes with a strictly vinyl selection, and once an old turntable is found and hooked up to the sound system, he treats us to an impressive selection of roots and dub.
At about 1 pm it's showtime and Bescenta takes the stage. I haven't heard any new material from him recently but remember him for his 2009 hit song Calm Down Your Nerves. He puts on a decent performance but doesn't really convince me live on stage. I just call it like I feel it though, I'm not a music critic, right..
Next up is Natty King, the man from the east. Natty King is a natural born singer with a smooth and warm voice. He is or has a great songwriter as well, all his songs are convincing and never boring. The crowd is enjoying his set when Natty King brings Jr. Vibes onstage. Jr. is a singjay with one of those typical nasal voices like Quench Aid. Check his song roadblock. Jr. sings some of his own songs and then both performers put in a couple of combination tunes. Pure enjoyment. It's after 2 pm and we call it a night.