Eat My Soul Festival

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Lee 'Scratch' Perry takes to the stage.

WANT to know the secret to a long and healthy life? Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, the legendary record producer and a performer in his own right, claims to know the answer.

Possibly the most sprightly 80-year-old man ever to take command of a stage, the singer performed as part of the ‘Eat My Soul’ festival, which took place in Alicante.

With Perry dressed in a strange mixture of street clothes, colourful leggings and a jacket fitted with mirrors and military insignia, he directed his much-younger backing band (Los Granadians) through his back catalogue like an eccentric little general, delivering orders via microphone.

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He was gentler with the audience, however, calling us “his children,” and encouraging us to jump, wave and even hop in time with the music. His agility outshined many in the crowd, whose ages ranged from teenagers to 60-somethings.

For those with a taste for something different, the festival continued into the weekend with a variety of other live acts, and a food market featuring food influenced by New Orleans and the southern states of the USA.

Crab gumbo, fried green tomatoes, Texan-style smoked sausages and home-made lemonade were all on offer, most of which had been by served up by Alicante restaurants, including ‘Bonobo’ and ‘La Taguara,’ which are situated in the city centre.

Back on stage, music was provided by ‘The Gories’ (an 80s garage-punk group from Detroit), and a raw, but more traditional rock band called ‘The Macumba Brothers’ on Friday night, with ‘The Great Munzini’ (a turban-wearing rock band from India and Portugal) appearing as part of Saturday’s line-up.

The Great Munzini in particular delivered a highly energetic performance – no less than should be expected from a young up and coming band – the kind that burns brightly but does, however, often burn out all too quickly.

The peerless Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, on the other hand, has achieved a longevity that most can only dream of. His energy and apparent youthfulness could be put down, he said, to one thing: “No stress.”

Continuing to do what he loves after all these years, and the glasses of red wine that were sipped throughout the gig, might also play some part in his apparent good health. Whatever his real secret, the resultant show was highly entertaining, and will not be easily forgotten. 

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