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In Concert
Linton Kwesi Johnson
In Concert
Genres: World Music, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

The poet leads off this November 1984 concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, England, with an a cappella throw-down, drawing screams with his chilling rendering of an early composition from Dread Beat an' Blood. ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Linton Kwesi Johnson
Title: In Concert
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Shanachie
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: World Music, Pop
Style: Reggae
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 016351433411, 016351433428, 016351433442

Synopsis

Amazon.com
The poet leads off this November 1984 concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, England, with an a cappella throw-down, drawing screams with his chilling rendering of an early composition from Dread Beat an' Blood. When the band kicks in for the title poem of that first LP, a flood of reggae tension bursts forth. And it just keeps coming. This double set is the only live recording of one of reggae's finest intelligences, and it's a killer. Linton Kwesi Johnson (a.k.a. LKJ) reveals his scholarly bent in "Intro," his brief greeting to the audience, describing the concert as a reflection of his poetic progress, and modestly stating that after 11 years in the biz, he's still an apprentice. But that's the sole quiet moment. The Dub Band, justly famed for drawing the sounds of the black diaspora into an airtight reggae celebration, is an awesome musical beast here. LKJ's handsome voice--an incisive instrument of rhythm and reason--darts in and out of the beast's charges and manages to remain up front and stage center. --Elena Oumano

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CD Reviews

Uniquely Excellent
Douglas H. Watts | Augusta, ME United States | 02/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched a performance of most of these cuts by Linton Kwesi Johnson (LKJ) with Dennis Bovell and the Dub Band in 1989 at a small club in Portland, Maine; and had the chance to interview Linton Kwesi Johnson just prior to the show. During our pleasant but intense chat, he recommended I read Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois, whom he cited as one of his major influences while growing up.While the musical form played behind LKJ's lyrics is reggae-based, it is far from the "sunny" island-style reggae. LKJ's songs are explicit and disturbing stories of police beatings, trumped-up arrests, assassinations and firebombings of Jamaican, Haitian and African citizens of Great Britain, where he lives. LKJ does not sing, but speaks in a Jamaican-Black British patois adapted from Jamaican DJ pioneers such as Big Youth, U-Roy and I-Roy. These performances, from a mid 1980s concert in London, are a musical tour de force for Dennis Bovell (bass) and his band, which includes a full horn section, playing their butts off. This CD captures LKJ and his band at their peak and is an excellent introduction to Linton Kwesi Johnson's recorded works and writing. For those familiar with Bob Marley, if you like the song "War" you will like this. Inspirational, unsettling and essential listening for those who desire far more than audio wallpaper."
The best of non-religious, reality-based reggae
James P. Dillard | North Hollywood, CA | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you understand the spoken British/Jamaican accent--with political and social relevance, to the extreme, then this is a record for you. This recording represents a part of the reggae world which should be honored in a Reggae Hall-of-Fame. The music is of roots-Reggae caliber with non-religious lyrics. Even the most Rastafarian-oriented roots listener would have to admit that Linton Kwesi Johnson's very soul is heard from his very breath on this timeless record of his live performance."
Socially conscious radical rhymes and a HOT band
average_white_boy | 03/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this on vinyl years ago just for "Wat About Di Working Claas?" and discovered many more great tracks. My favorites are the last 3 tracks - "Wat About Di Working Claas?" goes right into "Di Great Insohreckshan" and then into "Making History." The Dub Band really fires up and delivers an incredible, tight, driving performance. Killer stuff, and socially conscious. Being a white, conservative yuppie I always felt a bit funny blasting this at full volume in my BMW, but it is just too good not to."