Tarrus Riley was to kick off the festival on the Friday in the sweltering hot marquee stage. The reggae singer from Jamaica pleased the crowds of excited fans by playing his big hit ‘She’s Royal’ early on in his set. About half way through the concert security began hosing down the crowd due to exhaustive heat as the rejuvenated fans danced and sang along to good, fun showmanship by Tarrus.
At one point he handed over a huge Jamaican flag to someone in the audience and they kept the swaying of the flag going throughout the rest of the gig. Amongst his team, Tarrus’ saxophonist blasted out a massive solo which many shall remember as a highlight of the concert. It ended with the feel good reggae tune ‘Gimme Likkle One Drop’. Afterwards, the crowd left the marquee slowly and headed to get refreshed at the nearest bars.
The Brussels Times caught up with Tarrus Riley just minutes after he came off stage. At the end of the show, our festival correspondent raced across to the Press area at the other end of the festival site where the interview was scheduled to take place. Tarrus, however, had other plans and insisted he be interviewed in his dressing room where all Press are normally restricted from entering. After much negotiating with security and finally being let into the area The Brussels Times spotted Tarrus quickly grabbing a plate of beans and salad at the buffet and we sat down together.
When asked what it was like to open a festival like Couleur Café, he replied emphatically that the crowd was super fresh, that it was the second time he’d come to Couleur and that he would definitely come back again.
Tarrus explained how straight away that night he was off to Cologne for the Summer Jam festival. When asked if there was any chance he would be able to catch a glimpse of other artists performing that day his answer was short but definitive: “I’ll just try to see Wu Tang Clan and I’ll be backstage”.
We could see he was dying to dig into his plate of food so we left him alone. And thirty minutes later, out on the main stage, he joined Gentleman for a surprise guest appearance.
By Alex Hazel Neale