Concert Report: Protoje & The Indiggnation in Hamburg, Germany, @ Fabrik - 11/01/2018
11/03/2018 by Gardy Stein
Protoje & The Indiggnation in Hamburg, Germany @ Fabrik - 11/01/2018
Ever since I dove deep into his new release in order to write a well-grounded album review, I've been looking forward to witness this man and his new tracks live. Thus, the announcement that Protoje and The Indiggnation will stop in Hamburg was great news – and not to me alone! Almost 500 like-minded music lovers had assembled at the mighty Fabrik last Thursday, ready to celebrate an evening of sweet Reggae music.
After Seven Year Itch, The 8 Year Affair and Ancient Future, the current maxim is A Matter Of Time, a dimension that's obviously of utmost important to the artist. And none of it is lost tonight! While his band gears up with a powerful intro after a nice warm-up selection by resident soundman Crucial B, Proto can be seen to enter the venue, circle the crowd and swiftly disappear backstage, only to re-appear on stage again seconds later. The audience's welcome is a warm one, and the first two tracks pass us by in a blur of colour and sound, mingled with the elating realisation that this moment is ours, that this artist and these musicians are here for us as much as we are here or them. With the following song Protection, this feeling of communion is intensified with its haunting chorus of the only digitally present Mortimer, but before the mood gets too pensive, Criminal is loosened up by a little choreo of guitarist Lamont "Monty" Savory and bassie Donald "Danny" Dennis.
Speaking of… this Indiggnation band deserves greatest respect, as they have improved steadily both in their individual performances and in their interaction as a group over the last years. It is a joy to watch Kevin "Zuggu Dan" Patterson on guitar, Peter "Kongz" Samaru on drums, Paris Dennis on keyboard as well as Keiko Smith and Racquel Stephenson on their mics, and together with Protoje's smooth vocal delivery, lyrical content and easy swag as well as the elaborate light-show, vibes are running high indeed. In Sudden Flight, the female vocal part gets a big forward from the crowd, and everyone is more than willing to sing along the subsequent Like This. Protoje is expressing his gratitude for the support he's been given when he started touring Germany eight years ago, and when he asks who is here seeing him for the first time, a lot of hands are lifted. Big up to the new fans!
During Rasta Love, Zuggu Dan (check out his upcoming debut single release Jungle!) is singing Ky-Mani Marley's part, again to loud cheers from the audience, and Proto then takes the time to honour the great Buju Banton with a little excursion into Champion that is followed by Bout Noon. After Paris had his spot as well in Stylin, the chorus of Mind Of A King is practised and repeated with the people, and we are all "calling for the sound". As if in answer to that, Monty is playing an artistic guitar intro for Camera Show, and again the band excels, this time taking it dubwise, supported by engineers Xavier Farre Cases and Whitson Williams. Before Protoje then launches Hail Ras Tafari, he turns to his assistant Jamila Pinto, picks up a spliff, lights it and – smokes. While the musicians are picking up a Black Uhuru theme, the singer reaches into the audience and brings two young boys up on stage, involving them in a joyful dance-competition with himself and Paris.
This heart-warming connection to the crowd is again establish after the final tracks Who Knows and Kingston Be Wise, when this exceptional artist makes sure he shakes as many hands as possible before he leaves the stage. Thundering applause and calls for encore are the reward for this special concert experience, and, slowly, the crowd disperses. But, you know, it's only A Matter Of Time until we will come together again!