By Austin Taylor
October 12, 2018
At 82 years old Lee “Scratch” Perry continues to prove he is a reggae icon. He has amassed a discography of over 60 albums as well as collaborations with the likes of Bob Marley, the Beastie Boys, Animal Collective and the Clash, just to name a few. Over the last six decades Lee has been touring the world and actively producing his Grammy-winning cosmic reggae sounds.
Lee Scratch is most known for igniting the reggae sub-genre “dub” with his unique style of mixing live rhythmic instrumentals with synthesizers and spacey distortion. His style of music suits a Sunday afternoon mushroom trip at the beach just as well as it does a hot boxed space ship orbiting Jupiter.
Scratch took the stage at Commodore Ballroom in a cloud of incense burning from an offering of round balls of fruit. His attire perfectly complimenting the music and looking exactly the way you would dream.
Adorned with ornate layers of chains around his neck, beads around his ankles and gold rings stacked on his fingers. Perry’s wardrobe was bedazzled from head to toe with crystals and Rasta pendants. His black denim jacket was painted with scenes of vibrant planetary constellations.
The paint seamlessly extended to cover his hair, face and beard with brightly coloured pink and blue brush strokes. Smoking a reasonably sized spliff he skips from one side of the stage to the other, rumbling lyrics over the heavy jungle rhythms. Scratch is the dub crypt keeper. He keeps the cosmic trance rhythm flowing long after the performance ends with reverberations of his voice echoing in the audience members memory; “FIRE!!! FIRE!!! FIRRRE!!!”Commodore Ballroom