The Upsetter and one of the original reggae pioneers Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry arrived at the Wedgewood Rooms on Sunday 24th as part of his UK & European tour. Perry holds status as one of the most enduring and original reggae producers and artists of all time. From his early days in the 1960’s as a singer and engineer for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One in Kingston, through his production of the seminal Wailers’ classics African Herbsman and Soul Revolution, Perry’s innovative style marks him as one of reggae’s original treasures.
The evening got off to a great start with Emiliyah and the Mightyz All Stars providing a superb support. The sweet reggae vibes were complemented by Emiliyah’s incredible vocals much to the delight of the mixed crowd of ages.
The great man’s appearance is eccentric to say the least and apart from the draw of his music this is one of the reasons I was happy to have the opportunity to photograph him. At 82, Perry’s energy to hold court for an hour and a half is nothing short of superb! He walks up and down the front of stage almost stalking the audience like they are his prey whilst providing the vocals for the impeccable beat that’s being played out by his band, who for the record, were incredible! Perry, wearing a pair of blue flashing LED glasses coupled with his dyed red hair, rambled between songs and I couldn’t make out much of what he said or discussed, now I understand why others have described them as the babblings of the lunatic or the offerings of a prophet.