Leroy Smart at London’s Brixton Hootananny

December 22, 2011

Leroy Smart - London

Some personalities are described as “larger than life”. Some artists are better known for their life than their work. But Alpha Boys School alumnus Leroy Smart is one of the few whose eventful life and extraordinary back catalogue are at a constant standoff.

December 11th’s Hootananny show (postponed from its original date of November 13th) was even more packed than usual for an artist who has played only sporadically in London since the 80s. “At Brixton Academy I was only here for a short thing now I am doing the long thing” said the flamboyantly attired singer to a throng; their sweltering collective body heat as fierce as the cold outside. He was referring to a Reggae Valentines bill in 2005 where he prematurely left the stage. This time arriving at midnight (after an hour’s selection by MC Trooper and Brother Culture) he stayed for 70 minutes: opening with his 1982 Volcano hit I am The Don before building to his Channel One smashes Ballistic Affair and Pride and Ambition – with some colourful language along the way.

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