Morgan Heritage Rocks the Key Club on Sunset Strip
Photos and Review by Jan Salzman
June 18, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – I arrived early, around 3 PM, at The Key Club. I thought it was sound check time, but it was actually load in time. A few of the Morgan brothers and sister Una were mingling with local family members. Mr. Mojo came over and said, “You’re early!” I explained that I would love to listen to sound check, if possible, and Mojo agreed. I think he had problems with a digital percussion machine that he bought. He had to run it back to the shop.
After a wonderful sound check, Mr. Mojo arranged for me to interview Una and Gramps also. I went for a bite to eat and returned about 9:30 to catch the opening act, Hooliganz. They were a surprisingly good roots Reggae band that raps, too.
Morgan Heritage’s backing band took to the stage next, and backed Laza and Irie Love, two fantastic artists on Morgan Heritage’s Gideon Records label. Laza came on first singing “Number One,” “It No Pretty,” and “What A Gwaan.” Then, Irie Love performed the uplifting “Put Jah First and Everything Will Be All Right.”
Morgan Heritage came on about 11:30 to the rocking “Cross Wi Border,” then went straight into “Raid Rootz Dance,” both from their new CD Mission in Progress. They covered a broad spectrum of their musical history. Some favorites were “Don’t
Haffi Dread,” “Jah Works,” “Yute Dem Share,” “She’s Still Loving Me,” and “Tell Me How Come.” The set list had them down for a 45 minute show, but they played for close to two hours! There was a group of girls next to me swooning and smiling as Peter, Gramps, and Mojo traded lead vocals, alternating on the front microphone, over the course of the night. In total, they performed 19 of their best-known songs.
After the show, it was just minutes away from curfew on the Sunset Strip, there were three police cars out front of the club making sure the crowd left in an orderly manner. Normally I would have gone to the bus but the bus left quickly, too. Morgan Heritage wore us out with music and left everyone satisfied and exhausted. I drove home listening to their previously released Live CD.