Aswad * * * *
at the Jam House
Review by JC Kim
Reggae fans in the know were in for a rare treat when Aswad played at the Jam House last week.
The band captured the spirit and the struggle of black youth growing up in London in the 1970s, and produced a reggae sound that has stood the test of time.
Whilst the line-up has changed over the years, the sound has remained sweet and true, and perfect for large open-air summer concerts or more intimate gigs at places like the Jam House.
Aswad have a definite sound like no other reggae band which shows through their old-school numbers as well as their more contemporary cover versions. They gave a smooth performance perfectly pitched at the audience, taking them back to the heady days when the band broke into the mainstream with their hit 1983 album Live And Direct, recorded live at the Notting Hill Carnival.
Frontman Tony "Gad" Robinson joined Aswad way back in 1980 but still showed passion and charisma.The crowd danced the night away to hits like It's Not Our Wish and African Children, finishing the night with Shine from 1994.
Sadly, they had run out of time and despite the applause there was no chance of an encore, leaving the crowd mildly disappointed.