Junior Murvin and Willie Williams live in London

July 26, 2011

Two weeks after Little John and Josey Wales took Brixton back to the eighties in tribute to Sugar Minott, the late seventies were in style at the Hootananny once again. On an unusually hot summer night two veteran singers, each of whose biggest hits were covered by punk group the Clash, demonstrated a still scorching mutual ability to entertain.

Junior Murvin

Introduced as “a legend of Studio 1” by promoter Cecil Reuben, the St Ann parish-born Willie Williams answered in kind. Attired in white, he sang on a series of rhythms launched by the label: Rockforth Rock (The Unification), Heavenless (Music Maker) and of course, Real Rock (Armagideon Time). To the drum and bass of the Hootananny’s own Artist band, he brought his knees up to his chest for tough steppers fare like Messenger Man and Home Sweet Home. All that was missing was his self-produced classic Unity, originally released on the In Land label. But having attended Haile Selassie’s birthday celebrations the night before he had this unity message for the audience “You can’t love the Creator unless you love the person in front of you” delivered in his trademark cool drawl.

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