Heading into Miami Marketta on a Sunday feels foreign. As I approach the front gates, the memorable smell of myriad flavours dances upon the air. However, today I wont be succumbing to a taste sensation from the other side of the globe, I shall be falling deep into the melting pot of fellow music lovers as I reacquaint myself with one of the greatest pioneering bands of ska-reggae the likes of which has never been matched: Sublime with Rome.
If you’re as lucky as myself to live in the thriving metropolis of the Gold Coast, then you certainly are no stranger to Miami Marketta. The sense of community this place exudes is incomparable. Today is no different.
A Sunday session of this calibre deserves the perfect introduction, enter Cheap Fakes. This Brisbane based six piece have an uncanny ability to get a crowd worked up to fever pitch by the end of the first song. Working the crowd is their speciality, led by a enigmatic front man and complimented by a stellar brass section, these guys give it their all. If you see a gig with Cheap Fakes on the bill, you’re guaranteed a good performance. As their set comes to a close, you can tell the crowd is salivating for more. I make myself a promise to definitely see these guys again.
Our next appetiser for this culinary feast of tunes is Jakubi. A Melbourne five piece that puts the crowd into a lively mood. Their blend of hip-hop beats, reggae guitars and distinctive vocals is something that I didn’t know I had been missing from my eclectic musical library. The chill beats that this band delivered lured the crowd into a sense of relaxation that can only be found on a Sunday afternoon. Beats pulsed through one and all like a neck rub administered by a Swedish masseuse and you could feel a collective sense that everyone knew they’d spent their Sunday afternoon exactly the way they had planned. The lads stepped off stage, I’m sure, with a overwhelming feeling that they would return to the Gold Coast again soon.
As the crowd mingled, getting to know new people, running into old friends, the main course was moments away from being served.
Sublime with Rome graced the stage and 10 year old me was squealing with joy. Not only was I looking forward to the classics, but to any and all tracks from Sirens and Yours Truly.
These guys have not lost any of the pizazz they hooked me with 25 years ago. The guitar work of Rome Ramirez is flawless, as are his vocals on original Sublime tracks. Certainly paying great tribute to the late, great Brad Nowell. Original bassist Eric Wilson still plays his rig like a man possessed. Music taking a hold of every fibre of his being, guiding him to the right notes and making the crowd go wild.
Doin’ Time gets the masses to sway and jive, kicking into a reggae fuelled chill that just begs the question, who’s got the blunt? Singing along with every word, we are all transported to our younger days, listening to their self titled album, learning every word of every song and finding that we share some sort of camaraderie with the current plethora of strangers.
Crowd favourite What I Got gets everyone moving and shaking to the beats and the centre of the Marketta is packed to the brim. Participation is a must in this song and Ramirez makes sure to get everyone involved. “LOUDER!!!!!”, he shouts, to which the good people oblige. For a small-ish audience, we certainly make some good noise.
At the final mark, we come to Santeria (a personal favourite). For this die-hard fan, THIS is the perfect way to close out the show. We sing along at the top of our lungs, wanting this night to never end, but as Rome tells us “some things have to come to an end”, we get into the groove of the blaring guitar, thick drum beats and smooth bass lines and that camaraderie is as prevalent as ever. Many kindred spirits within one spot, sharing a love for a band that shaped their future musical tastes like no other.
The collective swagger out of Miami Marketta, stomachs full of food and drink, souls full of music and memories. Im sure this is a show that will be talked about by us all for a very long time.
IMAGE (c) Danny Santangelo