Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Jimmy Cliff at the Clapham Grand

The Vinyl Word is proud to welcome renowned music photographer and journalist Seamus McGarvey as a contributor. Seamus attended the Jimmy Cliff show at the Clapham Grand on August 19th. Here are Seamus's photographs and review of the show. Many thanks.
For this sold-out show, the venue was packed with fans eagerly anticipating Jimmy Cliff's appearance. A huge roar greeted the eight-piece band, but once Jimmy hit the stage, any remaining restraint evaporated as he launched into his opening 'Rivers Of Babylon'. He sat, sang and played bongos for a couple of numbers, throwing in the odd humorous aside ('from Kingston to Clapham – and you got it made!'). Early numbers included the loping 'King Of Kings' and 'Miss Jamaica' from 1962-63 with Jimmy dancing energetically and playing guitar, and by the time he reached 'You Can Get It If You Really Want', the infectious rhythm brought even more stepping and high kicking. He slowed things down for 'Wild World' then raised the tempo once more for 'Hanging Fire' before ringing the changes through 'Under The Sun, Moon And Stars', 'Treat The Youths Right', 'World Upside Down' and 'Let Your Yeah Be Yeah', the band hitting some great grooves with strong vocal backing. There was no way Jimmy could leave without hits like an impassioned 'Many Rivers To Cross', 'I Can See Clearly Now', 'The Harder They Come' (with a closing 'peace, love and justice' message) and, by way of an encore, ' Wonderful World, Beautiful People',  and he emerged as a fine entertainer, strong on charisma and audience contact, the whole show well paced. An excellent evening's entertainment.
Seamus McGarvey (with thanks to Elle May, and Richard at The Grand, for their help)


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