Lutan Fyah ADD

Review & Photos: Lutan Fyah & Jah Mason in Hamburg, Germany 3/4/2014

03/09/2014 by Gardy Stein

Review & Photos: Lutan Fyah & Jah Mason in Hamburg, Germany 3/4/2014

Jah Mason & Lutan Fyah in Hamburg, Germany @ Waagenbau 3/4/2014


Good things come in pairs. Especially male readers might enthusiastically agree, but I'm actually talking about things like a double Blue Mountain Coffee. Or the 2-week-holiday you're so looking forward to. Or your favourite tune pulled up twice by the DJ. Or a show with Lutan Fyah and Jah Mason, like the one at Waagenbau.

Even though it fell on a Tuesday, the location was filling up quickly with an expectant crowd, bringing to mind the weekly Passa Passa Dances that used to take place here every Monday. In addition to the happy occasion, mild weather had considerably lifted the overall mood in Hamburg - the tight grip of winter finally broken! People were taking their time chatting and dancing to the warm-up-set by DJ Shining Criss, until Dub Akom took their places on the instruments around 10 pm. The French band around drummer David and bass player Faby has been working with tonight's artists for five or six years now, being called upon whenever they (or compatriots such as Chezidek) tour Europe. When they don't play backings in live concerts, they are busy producing riddims and publish corresponding songs, the Heartwarming Riddim being their latest release.

Heart-warming indeed it was to see a woman on the bass in this male-dominated business, a true eye-catcher in the band consisting of her, David, Titi on guitar and Stef on keyboards – respect Faby! Meanwhile sound check was over and, after a playbacked intro, they released their musical fire.

First to appear was Lutan Fyah, rocking the stage with a combination of hearty dancehall beats and conscious singing, a combination that turned out to be the motto of the night. While the singer was struggling with technical problems on the mic during the first two pieces, Defend The Throne was able to unfold it's glory undisturbed. The nice thing about a live-band is the possibility to break the routine of delivering songs, and Lutan took his time to engage in a playful exchange with the musicians.

His performance went on with energetic tunes like She Nuh Waan Settle Down, Be Careful and Ungrateful, again combining conscious lyrics with an explosive chorus. Spirits were soaring high when the band struck the well-known chords of the Major & Minor Riddim and Mr. Fyah was drowned in a vibeful chorus of his hit Come Over. The real homerun, however, was accomplished by his final entries Iniquity Worker Congregation and Lonesome Soldier (on the Honey Pot Riddim). The massive in Hamburg is indeed as loyal to the creators of the tunes (Sillywalks) as they are generous with praise for the singers who skilfully inhabit them! After a joyous round of call & answer, he thus said his goodbyes to a grateful crowd that rarely had time to grab a drink before the program went on.

Jah Mason made his entry after a beautiful instrumental intro that literally brought tears to my eyes (speaking of the power of music…). Setting fire to the crowd during the first song, it was the subsequent Lion Look that made us knock on heaven's door, ecstasizing people in the front rows. They had ample opportunity to get moved by tunes like Farmer Man, Smoke or Journey To Life delivered by a Fyah Mason who lived up to his name. As with Lutan, his strength lies in the lyrics of which both artists pride themselves to write most of them on their own, and one task at hand for me definitely is to look them up in order to fill in the gaps.

Back to the stage show: Jah Mason was in full swing by now, enjoying the communication with both the band and the people, and when he intoned Run Come Love Me, the song worked its magic instantly. Actually it was a kind of prelude to his next (and last) tune, My Princess Gone, which of course had everyone singing along. So loudly that, with a rapt smile, the singer held the microphone out to the massive and only jumped in the verses. "Love you, Hamburg!" he said in between the lines, causing cheers again and again, and left the stage with a happy grin around midnight.

While DJ Shining Criss provided to more hours of musical niceness, David explained to us that the reason for Mason's obvious glee was indeed the response from the audience. In France or Sweden, he said, people enjoy the music but don't know, much less sing along the lyrics, so let's keep in mind that it is a special experience for any artist to hear the echo of his words from his fans.

Asked for upcoming projects, Lutan Fyah announced an album later this year with I Grade Records and invites us to check out his newest video One Dice, while Jah Mason points out his latest release Cross The Water (Kushites Music) and his grass-roots-involvement with farming in Jamaica's lush hills: "I want to concentrate on farming, because this is essential for maintaining my family. I do a lot of work on my own, driving the big machines and stuff. And we even have surplus to sell on the local market!"

Thus nurturing mind, body and soul (and eyes and ears), the artists took their leave to continue on their tour throughout Europe. Double blessings upon you and Inna Di Dance for bringing us vibes and consciousness!