Alison Hinds was blazing and Shabba Ranks was capturing the crowd on Wednesday night, but the show ran too late and had to be cut short. Full review at *File photo/AFP photo
Alison Hinds was blazing and Shabba Ranks was capturing the crowd on Wednesday night, but the show ran too late and had to be cut short. Full review at *File photo/AFP photo

I made it through the gate around 11pm, headed to get a beverage and sought to find a perfect vantage point to see Alison Hinds the Queen of Soca, and the bedroom bully himself Shabba Ranks.

Local DJs Jugglin Jason and King Jyrus kept the crowd moving with a Cup Match soca set and some old school reggae as we patiently waited for Alison Hinds.  The bar however was not really moving well at all at that time, and neither was the line for drink tickets.  Nevertheless drinks were acquired and I found some prime real estate just as MC Nadanja Bailey introduced Hinds and her band. 


Alison came out blazing and immediately had the crowd jumping as she belted out her power soca classic ‘Togetherness’. She had the crowd in the palm of her hand, despite some audio challenges for her first song or two.

The crowd sang back lyrics of the classics word for word and while there was clearly a good time being had by team soca, both the crowd and Alison’s performance seemed to be lacking some spark. Even when she cranked out tunes like Roll it, and Falluma the crowd never reached the frenzy I’ve seen before on multiple occasions in Bermuda. She jumped, waved, wined, and gyrated including a slow wine with Jah Simmons but to be honest I’ve seen Alison perform better both locally and overseas.

Now unlike Hinds, who I’ve seen multiple time over the past few years, I haven’t seen Shabba live since a show he did in number one shed. Yes there were reggae concerts held in number one shed!! A DJ was keeping the crowd bubbling as they sought refreshment and all proceedings were halted at the sound of Gombey drums entering the venue.


The Gombeys skanked their way through the crowd toward the stage, clearing a path for two motorcycles leading a motorcade with Shabba riding on a convertible.  The entrance was quite unique, but it all seemed a bit over the top with the smoke from the bikes a little overwhelming.  It was unfortunately another half an hour before the band was tuned in and Shabba appeared on stage at 2am.

When he did begin, it was clear the Shabba fans were in the majority and the original Dancehall king rattled through ‘Get up stand up and rock’.


Although he entered strong Shabba took a while to capture the crowd and there was definitely an exodus that began promptly at 2.30 as the diehards danced the Bogle and sang ‘Ting a ling a ling’. The crowd that remained were subdued with the exception of a few revelers at the front loving the atmosphere; and it felt like Shabba was just about to find his groove when the volume was cut significantly. One look to the sound engineer and the sight of a police officer’s silhouette signaled the end of the night and Shabba’s exit was as surprising as his entrance. The crowd were already moving toward the door thinking about the drive home when Nadanja came on stage to say goodnight at 2.53am.  

The night never really reached the heights that it could have and many of those that attended wished they’d seen the complete Shabba set (which, in fairness, may have only been another 20 minutes long).