Review: Messenger Soundsystem

Last Friday saw this semester’s hottest ticket to date as Venue 1 was transported to the heart of Jamaica with the ever passionate Music is Love bringing Edinburgh’s own Messenger Soundsystem for a night of basslines, hooks and reggae grooves. The 600 capacity event saw the union transformed into a carnival-esque set up, with towering custom built wooden speaker systems and flags adorning the decks as Messenger Soundsystem and MCs Afrikan Simba and Roman Judah tirelessly worked through a unique blend of reggae classics and newer dubs. Djing with many original 7 inches and making use of the huge speakers’ full potential, sonically this was an event unlike any other that the union has seen.

The Messenger Soundsystem family have a long and established history amongst the Scottish roots reggae scene, initially starting in the late 1980s the Soundsystem has gone from strength to strength promoting an original Jamaican reggae sound and showcasing the talents of numerous MCs including the likes of Afrikan Simba, Roman Judah and Danny Red. The collective can be heard at their monthly residency at Edinburgh’s Bongo club and have attracted somewhat of a cult following across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

A unique event in St Andrews’ musical calendar, Music is Love, the African Carribean Society, STAR and The Stand are all to be commended once again for their efforts in expanding the town’s musical scope and putting on a memorable night. It goes to show that if you’re willing to put on something a little different in the bubble people will flock. Indeed Venue 1 was ablaze with students dancing to obscure reggae sounds taking in the atmosphere and enjoying a scene not typically found within our humble student union. Here’s to Messenger and the societies involved and here’s to many more music focused nights.

Words: Charlie Jaco

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