Christopher Martin ADD

Review & Photos: Christopher Martin in Hamburg, Germany 6/14/2013

06/16/2013 by Gardy Stein

Review & Photos: Christopher Martin in Hamburg, Germany 6/14/2013


It's summer in the city! Finally it is possible to hit the road in a party-outfit without risking frozen fingers/ ears/ feet or pneumonia. Thus, the decision to go out on that lovely Friday night was an easy one for the people who thronged Waagenbau. The location itself acting as a guarantor for quality (it was here that some of the current hotties of  Reggae & Dancehall music performed during the last months, including Tiana, RDX, Demarco & Romain Virgo), it was once again chosen by Kingsley Addo to host one of his successful Inna di Dance – Events, this time inviting none less than Christopher Martin!

In a genre where you can find some of the most eccentric and braggy names in the music business (e.g. Bounty Killer, Vybz Cartel, Elephant Man or Warrior King, to name but a few) it could be seen as an unimpressive move to use one's given name as nom de plume, were it not for the outstanding talent behind it. This young man neither needs complicated AKA's nor extravagant appearances nor famous parents to be noticed – he stands where he is today just because he managed to constantly broaden his repertoire and refine his skills, thus securing himself an international fan-base, part of which assembled in Hamburg last Friday where the Jamaican artist touched down to deliver his first show ever.

Even though doors opened late (around midnight), within an hour the place was packed. As people enjoyed the warm-up set by DJ Shining Criss and DJ Dynamite, both temperature and anticipation rose to a hardly bearable level.

Pressure was released when, at 2:30am, the organizer asked "Are you ready?" and unleashed the artist on the waiting crowd. By now, the capacity of the venue had almost reached its limits with an estimated 450 people present, those in the back climbing banks and chairs and speakers to get a better view of what happened on stage. Rushing through a short intro, Christopher Martin presented himself as an energetic, secure performer in the ladies tune Melody To My Song that was greeted with great enthusiasm by the audience.

The next song Messenger carried a deeper meaning that presently wins in actuality through recent developments such as the ongoing police violence in Turkey and its twisted official news coverage. "If you don't trust the messenger, how you fi trust di message?" the singer chanted while eager spectators tried to catch his every move with a forest of raised digital recording devices. Understandable as the wish to document an experience such as this one is, the effort to stand immobile while recording detracts from the freedom to jump around and party. However, no standing still was possible during the first notes of the next song. Paper Loving had the massive go craaaaazy for the first time that night, heated up by Martins invitation to "Make some noise!" and "Give me some signal now!". Lighters flashing up all over, 1… 2… 3 ladies took their chance to enter stage, come close and dance with the celebrated singer. Security intervened when a fourth and fifth person followed suit, and even though he had the stage back for himself, Christopher kept up a positive interaction with the fans throughout the show.

Turning to the ladies once more (asked why what seems like 80% of his songs are written for or about women, Christopher explained "I grew u with a lot of female energy surrounding me, so this subject just flows easily."), Girlfriends and the subsequent excursion into a Busy Signal Cover of Missing You on the Heart & Soul Riddim was rewarded by approving screams, raised arms and hundreds of voices singing along. Take My Wings was a dedication to "all the lovers in the place" and indeed, the high notes delivered with an extraordinary caressing voice at the end of this song had couples melt in each others arms.

Before moving on to the next tune I'm There, the artist took his time to greet his crew, the DJs and once more "all di sexy ladies ina di place". The song itself made people jump and scream, while the following cover version of Bruno Mars' Just The Was You Are united their voices to an impressive background-choir orchestrated by Christopher. R'n'B ina Dancehall Style!!!

Without a break to draw breath, the audience went wild again at the first notes of the next tune Nanana that turned into a Beenie Man tribute with a short adaptation of Sim Simma – madness once more! Vibes were kept high with the Corner Shop Riddim, which the 26-year-old started with a Hamburg-dedication-freestyle. Soaked in sweat by now, it was obvious that he put all his energy in the performance, which culminated in Mi Friend Dem and saw the first pull-up of the show.

Slowing down a little, Chris Martin announced his next song to be a dedication to all the mothers in the place. Lighters flared up again and of course everyone knew what was coming: Mama! Pulling up the tune after the first chorus, the singer asked the massive to answer his line "Buss a blank fi u Mama!" with a loud "BOOM BOOM BOOM", and it was wonderful to see how everyone did just that.

The mood boiled over once more when the first notes of Cheaters Prayer hit the scene, not only because this is one of his most well-known and celebrated songs anyway, but also because he finally took off his shirt before starting to sing, giving especially the female part of the audience something to look at (as you might well be aware, this "something" being his well-toned, six-packed body, rrrrrr). The entire hall boomed with the voices of people who sang along every word, making Chris smile in surprise and pulling up the tune again and again. This really was the climax of the show, as everyone stuck to his lips and felt his every word (as the artist explained later, Neva Cheat, which is sometimes seen as a musical response to Cheaters Prayer, will be out with a brand new video soon!).  

Spanning the circle to his foundations, the man from Back Pasture (St. Catherine) announced the next songs as "the music I grew up with", entering into a swift medley of Let's Get It On, Sexual Healing and others. Fully aware of the effect his accompanying sexy moves had on the ladies, he said "If you feel like going home and make a baby, go home and make a baby!" to general cheers and laughter.

Much too fast he reached his final entry Watch Me Lord, a very spiritual song that once again gave his amazing vocal skills the opportunity to shine. Having completely enfolded the people in his glow, Christopher Martin expressed his love and gratitude for everyone who came to see him and left the stage an hour after he entered it.   

DJ Shining Criss managed a seamless transition to the Aftershow-Party and, alternating with DJ Dynamite, both of them ensured that the energy of the concert didn't evaporate, but was duly invested in a long night of dancing non stop.

Backstage, the artist received the Reggaeville-Team to announce the planned release of a song about his father (rare in Jamaican dancehall productions!) and express his gratitude for the support people all over the world give him by commenting on his Twitter- or Facebook-accounts and, most importantly, visiting his concerts. "Thanks for all the love you show me and all the other Reggae- & Dancehall-Artists. It is you who keep the music alive, and we will continue to bring you the vibes!"

Well then, let's keep the music alive – in a summer full of festivals ahead of us, this should be an easy task!