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The Rock-itt : June 2010
The Steyne, Manly is the place to go on alternate Thursday nights for a genuine laid back vibe, courtesy of 'Reggae Nites', a 5+ member reggae band. From the start you were transported from Manly Beach to one in Jamaica. This band has a true Caribbean feel to match its island sounds. The husky voiced lead singer with his steel pan drums, the smooth backing vocals and the added strong percussion section set the mood and the band takes you away to a whole other life. The lead singer explained that although it is his band, people come and go from within it and this particular group has been together for a while. From the young female on drums to the amazing lead guitarist, all members are given a chance to show their musical abilities and by the smiles, obviously impressed the audience. Great sounds and good crowd interaction meant it took the night from strictly a performance to a relaxed scene where all could feel comfortable enough to be themselves and groove as the mood and song took them along. They rocked it out and all in the audience were getting into it, in their own individual way- yet somehow joined by a common understanding of the music, the beat and the band itself. 'Reggae is a conscious music with mental benefits' --as spoken by the lead singer of 'Reggae Nites'. The slow rhythmic beats were often accompanied by the typical reggae style rapping and added to the complete experience. Excellent guitar combos with a solid lead guitar solo and then adding in the talented bass player with the right blend was an excellent partnership. An authentic Reggae sound and good control all round. Smooth transition between songs continued the Caribbean feel and the self produced visual of balmy nights, coconuts and pure relaxation. People were coming in continually with almost all stopping just inside the door to groove on entry, before heading for a seat. The audience ranged from tourists, to locals, to those in suits straight off the Manly ferry after work. Either way you can see they feel like they are coming home. The songs are longer than most, well rehearsed, together and in sync. A mix of mostly originals with covers and also requests was much enjoyed by the crowd. The continued good flow was infectious with people relaxing and letting go, both obviously and covertly (for those who thought they weren't noticed subconsciously grooving at the bar). The reggae feel hit all corners of the venue and stayed the whole night. The place became more crowded as the night went on, with everyone having a good time and fully enjoying the professional quality on display. The talented band was mutually appreciative to the crowd in return. So if you like having a chilled night listening to some sounds to relax the soul, I highly recommend 'Reggae Nites'. See you there! By Jordan Macpherson