It was like a ‘Homecoming’ for Buju Banton in Barbados. From his arrival on Friday, April 26 to his performance at the Kensington Oval the following day, many of the fans who cheered him on his arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport were in the packed Oval field – best known as the HQ for regional and international cricket – to hear Buju thank Barbados in song.
There were joyous moments of celebration and solemn ones as he unleashed his impressive catalogue, which includes favourites such as Our Father in Zion, Destiny, Not an Easy Road, Hills and Valley, Something Must Be Wrong, Walk Like a Champion, Only Man, Shiloh, Wanna Be Loved, Driver, and many more.
The Bajans, their numbers bolstered by guests and visitors who flew in specifically for the show from surrounding Caribbean islands and the United States, showed their love throughout, brandishing ‘lit’ cell phones, singing word for word with Buju and showing off Jamaican dance moves.
Buju told them that he was saying thanks for their support from his first performance in Barbados over a decade ago to a club audience of just over 100, to Saturday’s performance to thousands.
He also thanked his Jamaican “bredrin” on Saturday night’s roster, including Agent Sasco and Spragga Benz, and delighted the audience with samplings of Wayne Wonders’ reggae version of Forever Young and their hit collaboration, Love you in every way. Wonder had opened the Jamaican segment of the show in fine style, setting a sartorial pace for his fellow artistes and a feast of reggae music that delighted from start to finish.
Buju was unselfish is his delivery, also paying homage to reggae icons like the late Bob Marley – No Woman No Cry, and another “bredrin” who supported him at the concert in Kingston – Beres Hammond – In Love All Over Again, Play Some More and Pull It Up.
The Buju Banton concert was a highlight of this year’s Barbados Reggae Festival which was staged between April 27-30 . The Long Walk to Freedom tour continues in several other Caribbean islands, including Grenada, St Kitts, and the Central American territory of Suriname. It will also make stops in the British Virgin Islands and in European cities, including Cologne, Germany; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Zurich, Switzerland, as well as in Portugal France and Belgium.