It was an incredible show at the Belly Up on Saturday Night, as Stranger was headlining. But before that could happen, Synrgy, an original out of Oregon took the stage. Delivering a funky ska and rock steady sound, the crowd responded well.
Afterwards, Shoreline Rootz took the stage, however due to trumpeteer Carlos Liera’s opportunity to go on tour with Johnny Osbounre and Roots Covenant, Donny (from Stranger) filled in for him. At the end of the set, Tilley (also from Stranger) came out with a djembe, and a very special guest, Keli Ross Ma’u brought his steel drum on stage and played an amazing solo for Shoreline’s upcoming song “Mankind”. This was backup vocalist Rosie Chiurlia Harrison’s last Shoreline Rootz performance as she needed to wind things down in anticipation of having her first baby boy. (just added: Levi Harrison was born Sunday, July 15th coming in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces.-congratulations Rosie and Curt). We do not know if or when Rosie will return to the band (she doesn’t even know). Socal Reggae wishes her the best and we hope to see her triumphant return one day.
It was a tremendous show that featured 3 original and upcoming reggae acts. The show opened with Piracy Conspiracy, featuring a female vocalist, Mel C, and a very solid horn section with Carlos Liera and Jeff Hodson. Based out of Chula Vista, this band brought a distinct socal feeling.
The night got better and better when San Marcos’ Reeform hit the stage, building amazing chemistry with the audience. At one point, Phil Simpkin of the Simpkin Project joined them on stage. Later when the Simpkin Project got their turn, they proved to the audience why they deserved to be headlining a show at the Belly Up. Harmonizing vocals is all need be said. Everyone singing was in sync, and the Rhodes Piano/Hammond Organ sounds by Shawn Taylor really tied the room together. Simply an incredible show.
We caught up with Phil Simpkin after the show for this impromptu interview:
It was an amazing night on Thursday at Brick by Brick in San Diego. The night started out as Shoreline Rootz took the stage and in front of a nearly sold out crowd played some familiar originals, as well as a new song titled “Mankind”. They also played an original called Marcus, that was written by lead singer Ryan Thorpes about Marcus Garvey, a prominent figure in the African Empowerment movement. Backup singers Rosie Harrison and Ashley Lee provided a powerful harmonizing element to the songs. Shoreline Rootz drummer Scott Clayton also ran much of the promotion for this show though his company On Point Promotions(on-point-promotions.com) along with Irie Nation Radio(irie.fm) and Rasta Nation Posse.
After Shoreline Rootz, a High Energy performance by King Yellowman followed. He was jumping all over the stage and shaking a lot of hands, and seemed absolutely ecstatic about being there. The entire crowd felt the energy and fed it right back to him. The venue was a bit on the low lit side and there was a familiar smell all around – and a mood that went along with it. King Yellowman finished out with an inspiring speech while the Sagitarius Band jammed the Smokey Robinson classic “Being with you”. All in all, an amazing night.