Anthony B still doing live shows in Europe - Promotes King of my Castle
Currently in Europe, where he has been since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, reggae troubadour Anthony B is quite busy making music and even doing a few real live shows, not the virtual-reality offerings which have become the new normal. And he has secured more dates for August, leaving him full of gratitude.
He told The Gleaner, “In June, I did a Black Lives Matter concert in Vienna, Austria, which had 65,000 persons in attendance. Then in July, I performed at two concerts in Dortmund, Germany, that were completely sold out. That was on the 9th and 10th. It was very good, and I even got a chance to sign some albums and take pictures with fans. Of course, there was a sanitising booth and everybody had on their masks.”
Up next on his calendar of live shows is an African festival being staged by the African Council and the state of Vienna, Austria, on August 21. Anthony B is also booked for the Uprising Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia, a three-day event at the end of August, which sees him as the headliner for one of the nights. Uprising Festival is one of Europe’s chief music festivals dedicated to reggae and dancehall.
He also just confirmed what will be his first virtual show, the Notting Hill Carnival, which this year will be live-streamed. For the first time in its 54-year history, Notting Hill Carnival will be going online, and the organisers have officially formed a partnership with Spotify in the execution of the event.
In May, while the world was reeling in the midst of a pandemic, and the universal thought in entertainment circles revolved around a mandate to push back the release of albums and EPs, the firebrand reggae artiste and his Born Fire Music not so quietly dropped his full-length album. Titled King In My Castle, it is not the ‘me-centric’ ode which the name suggests; it is, instead, heavy on themes of empowerment – whether male or female – loyalty, love and hope, with some politics thrown in the mix.
A very enthusiastic Anthony B told The Gleaner that he is overjoyed for the embrace being given to this project by his fans. “Well, the fans in Europe – not me – say that it is the best reggae album for 2020. Songs like Talk Talk Talk and Mr Officer are in heavy rotation on the top pop stations, and Chill Out reached number one in Germany. Over in Senegal and Gambia, Nah Buy No Friend is very popular,” an informed Anthony B shared.
One of the surprise inclusions on the Rastaman’s 25th album is the very last track, which burns with passion, but not the ‘fire pon Rome’ kind of blaze to which fans have become accustomed. This is a real love song. Titled I Wanna Know What Love is, it is a cover of British-American rock band Foreigner’s 1984 hit. “Sometimes you have to do the unexpected. And it so happens that people are loving this love song. This is a strong, poetical, reggae album,” he said, adding that Woman’s Worth is one of his personal favourites, and then went on to name other ‘favourites’, which, by the time he finished, sounded like all 19 tracks on King In My Castle.
He eventually admitted, “Doing this album felt like when I was doing my first album with Bobo [former manager/producer]. That excitement, the energy, everything was there.”