Last night Soldiers of Jah Army (SOJA) performed at the O2 Academy Islington in London. This was the first time I saw them live, and I loved it.
The performance. They opened with the “I don’t wanna wait” and the crowd exploded. Energetics, charisma, professionalism. The guys really new what they were doing, and it sounded GOOD. They played with no or little pauses in-between the songs, which I guess was hard and gave no breathing space for us – a high intensity concert, I’d say. They also gave us some kind of circus drumstick performance – they were throwing them to each other, interchanging and all that stuff. They also sounded as good as on records – maybe even better. BUT. The violin part of “You and me” was a phonogram! I mean, I looked really hard at the stage in my attempts to find the violinist, but no one was there. No live violin. I was upset by this. Can’t we observe enough phonograms in popular music?
The fun stuff. So basically it is illegal in UK (and in most countries now) to smoke cigarettes in public places (read – inside). So people on the concert didn’t. They smoked weed instead! How stereotypical of a reggae concert. They’d light it up, then take a puff, then duck and exhale into the feet area. And I can’t say it was a single person doing that; there were loads of them. Stoners. The security ran back and forth trying to catch the violators, but come on. They just couldn’t. I’m not jealous, I had my wine, which I spilled, which was red (I was stupid enough not to take the white one) and which spoiled my favourite tee.
The conclusion: It was all worth it. An amazing performance, great feelings, great fun. I wouldn’t follow the band around the world, but I will definitely buy a ticket next time they are in London. Or at a place where I’ll be.
And here is a link to a video from my phone, it’s of cheap quality, but the sound’s ok.