Independence and unity...two concepts or states of being that would at first seem to be at odds with each other. However in a great display of unity last weekend a crew led by Revelation Sound pulled off one of the most memorable independently produced weekenders in the history of reggae music in Ireland. It's taken me til today to catch up with life sufficiently to sit down and write something, but let me say from the outset that I personally (and I think I can speak somewhat for Shimmy here too) left Cork with a feeling of inner well being that was thanks in no small part to the vibe with all the crew involved...
A bus journey, we thought would provide a wonderful opportunity to drink in the countryside while flicking through tunes and dubs, and we did a little of that, but mostly it was laugh and banter. Traffic heading down to Oxegen and Castlepalooza caused slight delays but we were well on track to hit Cork for showtime. We stepped off onto the quays and were quickly joined by Shimmy's sister, who quickly started employing some Jedi mind trick that thickened up my partner's accent to the point where she could pass for a local again, and with that done we were straight up to the venue to take a look. This is in no way Revelation's first event at The Pavillion, but we'd never had the pleasure of visiting before and I immediately loved it! We were met at the door by Jeremiah Revelation (with hugs) and after stopping for a quick look at the bar level where the all day session would be happening on the Sunday, we went up to check out the venue upstairs where the main Sound System sessions would be taking place. With ornate ceilings and tiered layout it's an incredibly nice room. I'm not sure of the history but as you may see from the photo's it resembles an old dance hall or theater, kitted out with a pretty hefty house PA (props for the analogue Midas console at FOH). This however was not going to be switched on (apart from the stage mons). There were bigger plans for the weekend. Already set up and being warmed before doors by Benji, was a big stack of Revelation sound, while the I Kingdom Sound was also already set up for the Sunday night clash. The little green room was buzzing, and I hope that by leaving all our stuff piled up in there for the night we helped bring everyone a little closer (by being forced to stand so). Mind you they may have been cursing us! :D
|I Kingdom, Revelation & Rootical Sounds setting up.|
We'd never played a gig in Cork before so our collective cherry was now in tatters. We chatted a bit with peolpe who were there, stripped out the equipment and hit the venue upstairs to catch some of Pressure Drop Soundsystem, and Professor Ruff Chuff, before falling prey to the munchies and heading out to find food. We bumped into MC Cian Finn a few streets away, returning with noodles, which was tempting, but we stuck it out and stumbled upon a little diamond of a place called ORSO, which sells top notch food at kebab shop prices. If you are ever in Cork I recommend a visit if you like fusion type fare. Posh meal over, we strolled back in a quickly figured out that jumping around in front of a soundsystem would have to now wait a bit and grabbed a couple of comfy chairs down in the bar while Bellyman played a wonderful selection which kept us there til Worries Outernationl selecter Andy Culture took over to close the night, dancehall guns ablaze, firing from their awesome collection of dubplates. By that point we were a bit more digested so the soundclash was attempted again, this time successfully. I can't tell you who won, or if there was a winner, or if there was ever meant to be one, but it was really going off up there. Sadly I Kingdom's Sound had failed to fire up, but were accommodated by the ever loving Revelation. These things happen, and tomorrow is another soundclash. The Rootical Sound System was as enormous sounding as ever, and made me wish for the days of Mantua again...
So with both rooms exploding with vibes, the night, and the Irieland Roots & Reggae Festival came to a close. Congratulations and respect, and not forgetting thanks, are due to Revelation Sound, and all the Crew in Cork who made it happen. Looking forward to catching up most of you at Electric Picnic. Big ups!
That wasn't all though... We drove out of town with Cian Finn, who told us about his upcoming tours of North America and Asia, (they'll love him...and with his charismatic performances he'll have no trouble!), to a really cool farmhouse where a few of the World Bass Culture guys live, and spent a really nice few hours chilling with music from Scandal Rankin's Simon, and Miah Revelation, and eating blueberry pizza (which I think is patented by Ruff Chuff Laboratories, but I suggest you try it on the sly...). After a couple of hours kip we discovered the River Lee running right through their back garden, which also has lots of fruit trees and a substantial organic plot. Lucky gits can also make as much noise as they want out there, as there's nobody to hear it. The sun was baking so most of the day was spent crashed on the lawn and chatting to the guys. Doc Inity needed to catch a flight back to South Africa so we headed back to Dublin with a very tired Ras Tinny who'd been doing airport runs at seven that morning. Plans were afoot for a quick WBC dubplate session in Dublin before Doc flew out, but I'm not sure if the time gods allowed for that in the end, because once we got into the house I fell asleep for about 4 hours and haven't spoken to Tinny since. Go to the next WBC night and let me know! ;)
Cork, and more importantly, the people that are from Cork (even those who weren't!) thanks for being so warm and welcoming, we left inspired. See you again after The Picnic. Much love x