2 Boabs, 2 Bards & 2 Birthdays – Och Aye n Aye!!!
A few years back GlasgowLiving headed downtown to Jamaica Street, for a very rare and unconventional Burns celebration taking place in MacSorleys Bar. This particular get-together was for paying tribute to not only our own Robert Burns but also to that other world-renowned music legend, Bob Marley. Instituted by original Rudeboy Reggae promoter and weekly Sunny Govan Radio Reggae Show host Hectorrr, who has been honouring both these men’s achievements by hosting an annual Reggae Burns Suppers since 2002.
Originally this kicked off at the Trongate Massiff Cafe. The proceedings then evolved into a seated dinner, since 2009 at MacSorleys and past 3 years at the Rum Shack. This year GlasgowLiving sauntered over the river to Southside, and rocksteady’d right up to the Rum Shack to celebrate once again…
On arrival after a few ales, and possibly a sneaky Red Leg Rum and as wee hawf of Springbank Whisky (not together of course), the irie vibes were well under way from the get go. When it came to sitting down to the meal, there were some fantastic odours coming from the BBQ behind the scenes! (All legal of course) 😉
For starters, we were treated to some sweet, sweet potato and roasted reggae pepper soup with some hot bread, and as if that wasn’t enough, up popped some haggis bon-bons, which were super, soft, hot and moreish!!!
Next, was when the West Indian mealtime magic really happened. Caribbean classics tinged with Scottish delicacies all prepared with exuberance, panache and purified perfection! Ya Man, the Ayrshire Pork Loin stuffed with haggis and apricot, with mashed potato, turnip, spiced red cabbage and some jammin’ jerk gravy!!! The meat was delicious and all the sides were great.
For the veggie option, Rum Shack offered sweet potato croquettes, served with beetroot risotto and Yard favourite callaloo and fennel.
After leaving a minuscule amount of Rasta room for dessert, we were once again spoiled for choice, Sweet Potato pone with coconut ice cream and chocolate rum sauce or coconut sponge with chocolate rum sauce. We all went for the later of the options. (Can you tell yet, that we like a wee rum?) 😉
To raise a toast to the Two Boabs a choice of Springbank 10-year whisky or Red Leg Spiced Rum was included in the set menu. Jah Bless!
As if we weren’t happy enough, the catering team and customer service was soulful, warm, joyful, spicy, and diligently attentive throughout.
Year on year the live music and entertainment is hands down one of the most chilled and memorable of the party calendar year. Chief selecta Hectorrr aka Craig, owner of an unparalleled fresh Reggae collection, delivered an outstanding aural journey of vibes, unity and integration, creating vibes year on year! This year was no different, with straight up dub from the old and rare, to the new and exclusive!
We were also superbly serenaded, local Glasgow styleee, by Skayman frontmand Tom Spiral’s and drummer Tommi Zoom’s live show! For his final song, Tom provided an unforgretablle acoustic version of Donald Where’s Yer Troosers!!! Not forgetting what day it was and how to “lang may your lum reek” the entertainment took a traditional twist when guest speaker Catherine Wilson of spoken word fame (Loud Poets Collective) held her heed high for Burns debut.
One personal highlight for us and an annual focal point for the whole team was the alternative Address to a Haggis, the “Great chieftain of the sausage race!” This time around the Haggis toast was an inspiring harp rendition of Auld Lang Syne by Rum Shack manager’s young brother 12 year old harp player Denzal.
Reggae Burns and Rum Shack Glasgow, Give Me Some Signal! 5 stars!! Bob b Rab, we salute you! x
Hectorrr celebrates 6 years at controls of his Sunny Govan Reggae Show this Tuesday 7th Feb – Bringing his weekly selection of fresh new wave Reggae sounds from both the Scottish and Worldwide Reggae Community…You can listen to this and future shows by clicking HERE.
Seeing as we were in the mood, and with the help of Jamaica Gleaner, we wanted to look back and reminisce on the many ‘uncanny parallels’ between the two ‘great Roberts’ and also 6 interesting facts about Tuff Gong, on what would have been his 72nd birthday.
They lived, loved, and died young. Half a world and almost 200 years apart, the two national bards Robert Burns and Bob Marley now inspire joint (no pun intended) annual celebrations of their birthdays worldwise.
Robert Nesta Marley is the most famous figure Jamaica has produced. (Though Usain Bolt might be usurping him in places like China and India.) Mention Jamaica, and foreigners who scarcely know in which hemisphere the country is located will cry in recognition, “Bob Marley!”
He is increasingly becoming to Jamaica what Robert Burns is to Scotland – most famous son, national bard, and symbol of cultural identity.
Both were born into humble circumstances in a small country with a few million inhabitants.
Both were free spirits who praised the intoxicating pleasures of ganja and whisky respectively.
Both fathered numerous children from multiple mothers – roughly nine from seven for Marley and 11 from six for Burns.
Both penned world anthems, with One Love being arguably the closest modern equivalent to Auld Lang Syne. And both died young, Marley at 36 and Burns at 37.
HERE’S 6 FACTS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT BOB MARLEY..
Marley was named Nesta Robert Marley. A Jamaican immigration official suggested to Bob’s mom that “Nesta” sounded too much like a girl’s name. So they switched his name to Robert Nesta Marley. Bob had white Jamaican roots originally from Sussex, England, whose family claimed Syrian Jewish origins. In the years to come Bob Marley stood up for racial justice and equality and nothing strayed him from his belief—not even his past.
As a little kid, Bob had a knack for deeply spooking people by successfully predicting their futures by reading their palms. At seven, having just returned to his rural village after a year spent living in the ghettos of Kingston (Jamaica’s capital), he declared that from then on he would cease to read palms. His new destiny, he said, was to become a singer. For the rest of his life, whenever someone who knew him back when asked him to read their palms, he resolutely refused.
In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith were called The Teenagers. They later changed the name to The Wailing Rudeboys, then to The Wailing Wailers, at which point they were discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd, and finally to The Wailers.
Tuff Gong,” the name of Bob’s recording label, was a nickname Bob earned for himself in the Kingston ghetto of Trenchtown (so named because it was built over an old drainage trench) for being exactly the wrong guy to screw with. Ever.
Late 1976, whilst rival political factions are warring on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, with Bob Marley calling for peace. On 3 December of this year, two days before “Smile Jamaica”, a free concert organised by the Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups, Marley, his wife, and manager Don Taylor were wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside Marley’s home. Despite warnings not to hold the concert, two days after the shooting, Bob Marley performed a 90-minute set, still healing from the gunshot wound…
When Bob was terminally ill he wanted to end his days in Jamaica, but unfortunately, on the Germany to Jamaica journey, didn’t make it past Miami. Ever the romantic, he was buried on home turf along with a soccer ball, his Gibson Les Paul guitar, and some of finest possessions.
Here’s the man himself arriving at Ibiza airport in 1978…