Virgin Atlantic Barbados Music Festival | Autumn 2009

The Virgin Atlantic Barbados Music Festival has been offering music, rum and fun on a small but beautiful southern corner of the island for three years now, and though you don’t have to try too hard to entice people to this kind of setting, a stellar musical line-up helped seal the deal.

Friday night saw a few of the rockier outfits open proceedings at a local bar, including Anglo-French retro rock act The Incredible Flyin’ Strings and Are You Experienced – a Hendrix tribute. And don’t give me no lip about tribute bands either – these lads were excellent, with John Campbell’s guitar wailing like the ghost of Hendrix, including some authentic teeth-on-string action during ‘All Along the Watchtower’, and other Hendrix staples.

By Sunday, my quest to drink the festival (read: island) dry of marvelous local tipple Banks beer remained sadly unfulfilled (though the Dub Pistols and I put in a valiant effort all the same), but no matter, as there was still more music and misadventure to be had, as we saw the plug get pulled, literally, by the police during the second Are You Experienced set of the weekend. Apparently a ninety-five-year-old resident was none too pleased at the sound of Hendrix being perfectly recreated down the road from her. The show, of course, went on, and John retaliated by breaking out the lighter fluid and burning the shit out of his Stratocaster before hurling it across the stage. Jimi would no doubt be proud.

Tristan Parker, Clash Music