A weekend of awesomeness at Couples Resorts
Tarrus Riley got the assignment and it would be an understatement to say that he simply delivered, because the maestro who commanded the attention of guests at Couples Tower Isle last Saturday night was more of a musical demigod.
The She’s Royal singer at times seemed like a man who had traversed the cabaret scene on the island’s north coast regularly, owing to his stage appearance and interaction that had guests literally eating out of his hands and obeying his every instruction.
Riley actually ‘riled’ up the revellers celebrating Tower Isle’s 45th anniversary, and gave them an unforgettable concert that will live with them for years to come.
Several times he left the stage for a more intimate setting with the guests, having them belt portions of his songs while showing his prowess and versatility on an evening which was interspersed with fire-eating display, hanging champagne pourers and acoustics from another incredibly talented musician by the name of Howard ‘Djani’ Sinclair.
Guest satisfaction was the ultimate for the team behind the anniversary parties that have become annual calendar events.
And Saturday’s showcase was staged in a scene that celebrated what Charmaine Bailey, the woman behind the theme, described as ‘Reggae Kulcha Explosion’. Set in a Kingston judgement yard style of colourful zinc fences bearing the faces of the likes of Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Buju Banton, Big Youth, Bunny Wailer, U-Roy, Capleton, Sizzla and Bob Marley, Bailey outdid herself again this year.
Each table carried beautiful Jamaican-coloured centrepieces, Bobo-dread flags flew high in the dining room and even a roadside bar, depicting life in Jamaica played host to rum drinkers.
Not even the fireworks that lit the sky last Friday night in Ocho Rios had the ability to outshine the scintillating performance of reggae superstar Etana.
The artiste who carries the moniker, the Strong One, was a major part of the ingredient that Couples Resorts Jamaica used to showcase a weekend of the celebration of the Jamaican culture.
There was not one imported act at the weekend extravaganza, just undiluted Jamaican talent on show, commencing last Friday night with Etana ‘The Strong One’, showing immense musical strength at sister property Couples Sans Souci.
Etana was the first part of the mixture unveiled at Sans Souci’s 17th Anniversary white party, and that blend was completed by Riley, who was the icing on the cake on Saturday night.
The Strong One was flawless, fitting into the hotel scene as if this was her regular jaunt. Ideally, she shocked the many tourists in attendance with her scintillating performance as many left their seats and took up residence at the front of the stage.
Delivering an impressive compilation that did not include the song Wrong Address that shot her to stardom, her versatility and homage to songs by other artistes had the audience dancing the night, so much so, that the fireworks that fired into the air after her performance paled in comparison.
One of the most talented musicians in the country Icoustik’s ‘Djani’, out of Montego Bay was in midfield and proved in no uncertain terms that he deserved to be among the stars. He was accompanied on bass by Lincoln Thomas, Congo Billy on Percussion and Ian ‘Beezy’ Coleman on lead guitar and vocals.
What was certain last weekend was that Couples Resort Jamaica spared nothing ensuring their guests, mainly repeat visitors, were exposed to the crème de la crème of Jamaican ‘kulcha’.