The 2015 edition of the Westmoreland Curry Festival on The Manning’s School grounds, in Savanna-la-Mar could simply be described as a ‘Bop, Bop, Bop’ affair, as while there was the usual ‘curry everything to excite the palate, the unforgettable excitement came from new dancehall sensation, Gully Bop.
While co-headliner Sizzla Kolanji played a tidy set and was well received, it was the charismatic Gully Bop who drove the fans in to lyrical ecstasy, as he gave justification for the hype he had generated in the lead-up to the event.
On entering centrestage, the man, who is now renown for his ability to create on-the-spot lyrics and deliver them with consummate ease, started out on a high, combining with his manager/fiancÈe Ms Chin with a duet entitled Calling My Name, which had the crowd going wild.
With the crowd in his corner, the dancing Gully Bop proceeded to rev up the excitement several notches, as he rolled effortlessly into his two biggest hits to date, Wuk Affa Me and My God, which catapulted him to stardom late last year.
Gully Bop, who recently toured the United Kingdom, then invited the London-based Jamaican deejay, Stylo G, to join him on stage. Together they flowed majestically, unleashing their signature hit, Who She Want, which is burning up the party circuit in Europe.
“This is a nice one; Gully Bop being the older man and me the younger, going at it lyrically over a girl … as to which one of us she really wants,” said Stylo G following the performance. “The expectation around this song is big, but it’s a day-to-day thing right now, the Bop is a big act, and I was delighted to be onstage here in Westmoreland on Curry Fest with him.”
In his suit, Sizzla was his usual fire-spitting self, but was professional in his delivery of a long line of hits that had the crowd singing aloud and dancing along.
Earlier in the concert segment, the pace was energetically set for Gully Bop and Sizzla by the group L.U.S.T., Noddy Virtue, Fab 5 and George Banton, who added a nice gospel touch to the proceedings.
Other standout performances came from Lady Genius, who is originally from Clarendon, but is now based in Atlanta. Her set was well-received. Queen Makeda, a local reggae singer, whose act included having a live parrot perched on her head throughout her set, also got favorable response.
“Last year was a bad year for Curry Fest, but this one shot,” said Winsome Dixon, a perennial fan, as she made her way through the crowd with a plate of curried goat.