Marcia Griffiths,Bob Andy and Judy Mowatt were saluted in London by the British Reggae Industry Award for their contributions to the music business.The BRIA founder and CEO Tony Williams surprised the stalwarts after their outstanding performances at London’s Empire O2 as The Marcia Griffiths & Friends anniversary tour kicked off.
The 22 carat gold award presented first to Judy Mowatt as she completed a set that rocked a packed O2 crowd that held on to her every note and sung along to classics including Black Woman’ Thank You Lord,Knocking On Heavens Door,More than a servant.
The audience who were earlier energised by the delightful Tanya Stevens with her thought provoking and humourous lyrics yet true to life stories were set and recieved a generous helping of some of the greatest songs ever written.The Maestro Bob Andy also celebrating over 50 yrs plus in the music business looking dapper in his African Suit delivered some reggae songs that has stood the test of time, now standards.The spritley 71 yr young veteran didn’t have to do much singing as his audience were there with him as he controlled the stage and The 809 Band who were on point, Bob gave us classics from The Bob Andy’s Songbook..”I’ve Got to Go Back Home,” followed by “Desperate Lover,” “Feeling Soul”, “Unchained,” “Too Experienced” The set short but sweet and then Tony Williams made a brief appearance and surprise no.2 came as Bob Andy’s expression of shock and Joy and was humbled when the BRIA CEO honoured Jamaicas’truly gifted songwriter for his contributions to the music business with a life time achievement award,The audience erupted when Bob expressed ‘Ive been waiting for this a long time and i am really touched’ England has always been a special place for me and my music’ He made way for Richie Spice who was well recieved and eased through some of his big tunes.
The entrance made by the Star of the night was truly befitting a Queen.Marcia Griffiths looking every inch the Queen of Reggae and as Regal in dress showed why she is indeed the respected Icon she is, Danced Sung and Joked for over an hour.Entertainment at its best 50Yrs of Magic ..as she reminiced along the way paying tribute to Desmond Dekker (Israelites),Inviting some of the audience to do the Electric Boogie also joined on stage by Copeland Forbes and DJ Daddy Ernie.The Hits were none stop “Feel Like Jumping,” “Truly,” and “Melody Life” (written by Bob Andy)
The chemistry between Marcia Griffiths and Bob Andy has always been evident and the invitation for Bob to Join Her on stage was the icing on the cake and simply blew the audience away as the dynamic duo ran through some the early 1970s when they recorded as Bob and Marcia for producer Harry J.and hit with “Young, Gifted and Black” .The rendition of Really Together another singalong for the Empire 02 audience who witnessed history.
Then Surpise No.3 Lifetime Achievement Award to The Queen Of Reggae presented by The British Reggae Industry Award Tony Williams. The finale One Love sung by Marcia and her friends Richie Spice,Tanya Stevens,Judy Mowatt and Bob Andy brought the curtains down on a wonderfull and very entertaining event.Norman Gentles