HORACE “Sleepy” Andy, veteran of Jamaica’s lionised Studio One roster, possesses one of reggae music’s most disarming voices, with a beautiful, beseeching tone, a light rasp and a catch in his voice which lends even his angrier lyrics a wounded soul.
Horace Andy - ABC2, Glasgow
No wonder Massive Attack considered him a vocal match for their nascent trip-hop sound, inviting him to guest on their debut Blue Lines and every album since.
Like many of his reggae peers, Andy’s appeal is timeless. He may present his songs in reworked renditions – on this occasion with constant teasing breakdowns but otherwise fluent backing from the Dub Asante band featuring Matic Horns – but he still hit the sweet spot the moment he opened his mouth.
In general, he favoured a loping, dubby backing for his songs, as on the cautionary likes of Money, Money, but Dub Asante also turned on the roots reggae dynamism on occasion. Cuss Cuss presented a harder musical front, with a wah-wah guitar break and flintier delivery from Andy.
However, he was more of a mellow seducer on the swaying lovers’ rock of Natty Dread A Weh She Want – so effectively so that a literal hanger-on from the crowd was determined to attach herself to Andy for the duration of his heartbreaking version of Ain’t No Sunshine.
Having survived this mild molestation, he returned for an encore featuring some of his Massive Attack repertoire, including Angel and the philosophical Hymn Of The Big Wheel.
Seen on 21.04.14