It was a pleasure, I mean an absolute honour, to finally witness in the flesh, the one, the only, David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan when he rolled into town for the Warehouse Project last Saturday night.
I’ve always been aware of Rodigan and his reggae exploits over the years, but never made the time to see him. It was by chance that it ended up happening. A friend said that he could get a couple of tickets to see Nero at the Warehouse Project and asked whether I wanted them? A brief second later I’d made my decision – YES! It was only when I checked the full line up that I realised that Rodigan was playing too.
Honestly, I don’t think most of the people in the venue had any idea who he was, I saw quite a few confused faces when a heavily balding, bespectacled sexagenarian bounced onto stage with the energy and vigour of someone a quarter of his age. Then he started giving his opening lecture, again the crowd looked around with eye brows raised. They’d come for music, heavy, bassy music, “gramps” wasn’t going to be serving that up any time soon was he? Oh how wrong they were.
For the next hour and a heartbeat, Rodigan layed down anchor after anvil of monstrously weighty dub and reggae. From Tippa Irie “ticka ticka tock”ing his way through the set to Hawaii 5-0 surf style dub washing over the increasingly rampant crowd, Rodigan made new friends with every track he dropped. Not only was he playing this music, but he was educating as he went. Providing narrative to go with each new dubplate, informing the uninitiated about Sound System culture, reminding the knowledgeable about why they love the Sound so much. This was literally, a master at work.
My only regret, the ocean of Red Stripe I’d consumed before the set. Sadly my memory of the names of the tracks Rodigan played (and no doubt he told us what every one was) completely eludes me. The solution, get out and see him again.
BR #67 David Rodigan (Pt.1) from BOILER ROOM on Vimeo.
BR #67 David Rodigan (Pt.2) from BOILER ROOM on Vimeo.
Now – GIVE ME SOME SIGNAL!