Culture reignite a golden age of roots reggae at the Picket, Getintothis’ Sam Roberts reflects on a band keeping a legacy alive and burning bright.
As the Good Friday sun set on the Baltic Quarter, the Picket, who heroically came to the rescue of the Africa Oyé festival last year, when rain stopped play, readied itself to play host to reggae legends Culture.
The venue slowly filled to the delectable sounds of the Beaten Tracks DJs, who set the tone for what turned out to be a fantastic night of dancing, reggae beats and Red Stripe.
Dolled up ladies rubbed shoulders with bald, bearded reggae fans in a beautiful reflection of the genre’s global appeal.
Culture have come a long way since performing alongside Bob Marley at Kingston’s One Love Peace concert in ’78 and it is reassuring that they’re still around to prove that great reggae refuses to fade away.
The atmosphere was electric as frontman Kenyatta Hill released an infectious energy, seemdingly restricted by the Picket‘s modest stage, but didn’t let that stop him from bounding along with the audience through an array of the band’s classic back catalogue.
There’s something effortlessly cool and genuine about the band, and their brand of roots reggae that just embodies authenticity and transports the listener to the heart of reggae and its history.
The highlights came as a double-whammy at the end of the set; the iconic Two Sevens Clash raised the roof before the band closed with the heartfelt I’m Not Ashamed.
Kenyatta, who has fronted the band since his father’s passing in a symbolic passing of the torch, does an excellent job of keeping Culture’s energy and legacy alive.
A tireless stage persona with vocals to complement the band’s material, it’s safe to say that he and his elder bandmates will be setting stages alight for a while yet.
Photography by Ged Doyle.