Talisman Celebrate Jamaican Independance Day
6th August 2011
It is approaching 10 o’ clock. Flowing drinks give birth to vibrant conversation all the way around Plantation. Although there are no free tables and there is a sizeable crowd standing back around the bar, few take notice of the eight-man ensemble making their way to a humble stage just to the right of the entrance. The night is young.
On the hour, horns lash out with bitingly aggressive introduction to the first piece of the performance, drawing conversations to a close and attention to Talisman – tonight’s feature presentation. The intro lasts for a whole fifteen seconds where it abruptly gives way to a more therapeutic reggae groove accompanied with soulful praise.
Fronting the band, ‘Lazarus’ has taken to the stage in a flamboyant scarlet and green tunic ornate with fiery golden rings. En contraire, his counterpart, Dennison, with whom he shares the spot light shadows in full black suit and black hat attire, like a master bluesman from a day long past.
Sometimes slow, other times easy slow; the backbone of this jam is the thick full tone of metallic bass and the drummer holding it all together - emphasizing every third beat and following through with those tastefully placed triplet fills. Twenty minutes into the show, a bass intro strikes up ‘Stride On’. A duel commences between that scratchy rhythm guitar keeping count and the sound of a Hammond style keyboard played on synths; that comps and shuffles between staccato and sustained chords. Plantation is getting hotter and sweat begins to pour down the face of band members. The audience starts swaying to the music, and as the celebration of Jamaican Independence can be heard all the way down the street, passersby begin to join in.
‘Shine On’ starts the action on the dance floor as horns interweave in octaves and 5ths and a clanky sounding lead guitar solos pregnant with chorus and reverb. By the time Talisman covered their Glastonbury classic ‘Dole Age’, the only thing anyone wanted to do was dance. Even Plantation owner Beverly could be seen out on the floor shaking it.
The lyrics do not stand above the music, but rather complement and blend in with instrumental quality. One minute a sadness and feeling of struggle overwhelms and the next minute it is overthrown by a sense of joy and celebration. Lazarus has a way of pulling on emotions like a puppet master. In one jam, Lazarus asks the crowd, “How do you moan?” He goes on to demonstrate what it is to really moan. In his emotional cry out that one senses is both spiritual and sexual, one might wonder what reggae is really about. Perhaps, it is not coincidence that in Latin ‘regi’ means ‘to the king’. Could this be where the term ‘reggae’ derives?
The band makes an unsuccessful attempt to bring the show to a close with ‘Words of Wisdom’, ripe with its jazzy alto sax solo, but the audience is not standing for it and demands more. To conclude, the event winds down with the more hip harmonica-driven ‘Run, Come, Go’ and mention of Talisman heading into the studio for work on a new album.
Plantation is the venue for your birthday, Christmas party, retirement, funeral reception, christening, school union, graduation, family get-together, friends re-union, business conference, business meeting, private party, private hire of the restaurant and all its facilities. Open Mic every Tuesday and live bands most weekends. Check out our what is on guide.