Review from The Jamaican Gleaner Category: Writing and Poetry
Pocket Band complements poetry By Mel Cooke, Freelance Writer
WESTERN BUREAU: Some big names were mentioned in their introduction Paul Simon, Beenie Man, Luciano - but when the lead singer and one of two guitarists opened the first lines of Satisfy My Soul it was clear that they needed no props to rest upon. "My soul is older than the Dead Sea Scrolls/Don't care if you are driving a Benz or a Rolls," lead singer Omar sang in his distinctive voice and all sat up and took notice. Especially when they mixed down the music and Omar 'rode it' like a veteran.
The reggae influence was immediately obvious, but there was more than a hint of what is loosely called 'world music'.
Let Go of the Ghetto in Soweto was written from an experience travelling through South Africa around the time apartheid was officially ending. Omar put down his guitar, leaving the Jamaican born Big T to handle the strumming alone, as he settled into the song on a wicked reggae bassline. "They come from England and they think that they are pure/Land their ship on the Cape of Good Hope" Omar sang of the invaders.
They segued into the Willie Williams classic Armageddeon and Weekenz rocked along.
Rise Up, with references to places like Mozambique and Tibet, followed, then a swerve into R&B came with the start of We Will Never Be Unhappy Again - then came rock style guitars.
The sole poetic piece was The Second Half of My Life, in which "my crossover dribble/will be played by Iverson" and The Pocket Band stayed in the same vein with Headers. The anti-suicide song declared "Not go take no headers/not go jump off no bridge" in an unplugged style, most of the band taking a break as Big T supplied the music.
R&B segued into reggae on Lila Rose and a touching song done for Omar's sister's wedding followed. The audience listened carefully as they took it down and down on the refrain 'everything is OK', then applauded enthusiastically as the song ended.
The Pocket Band ended a very good set with Medicine, a ballad of lost love featuring an excellent guitar solo from Big T and two young ladies gave them a well deserved standing ovation.