By Vanessa Obioha
If everything should go as planned, the reggae music scene in Nigeria will witness the original founding members of the reggae band SWEAT: Yomi Bobby-Benson, Daddy Bee Jay, Gesso Dread and Francis Goldman, performing together for the first time in a themed concert since they went their separate ways in 1989.
Details of the planned concert are sketchy but according to people who are close to the organisers, efforts are being made to ensure that the concert will be phenomenal.
Of all the founding members, only Dread is in London. The rest reside in Nigeria.
Goldman who was the band’s bass guitarist is a regular feature at Bogobiri House in Ikoyi.
He recently started playing with his band, Determined Souls at Smokey Bones Restaurant in Victoria Island, Lagos. The Ghanaian has spent most part of his life in Nigeria since he crossed paths with Gesso, who introduced him to the family of the late highlife veteran, Bobby Benson.
At the time, one of the sons of the musician, Yemi Bobby-Benson was looking for members for his band. The reggae band was formally formed in 1985 with Yemi on the rhythm guitar, Bee Jay on the drums, Dread on the keyboard and Goldman on the base guitar.
The quartet stormed the music scene with the reggae version of Bobby Benson’s ‘Taxi Driver’ in 1986. The hit was from their only album together of the same title. SWEAT’s version was a mainstream hit and cast the spotlight on them as the next reggae big stars after the debut of Tera Kota, the eccentric reggae artiste who released the controversial single ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’.
The group was managed by Maxwell Benson, while Seyi Sonuga was their producer. Their album was marketed by Polygram Records. The group’s most popular song till today is the remix of ‘Taxi Driver’, followed by ‘Television Data’.
Members of the band went separate ways in the late 80s following a dispute with the Benson’s family. Though there have been efforts in the past to reunite the founding members together but to no avail as each have found a certain level of fulfilment in their solo careers. Yemi however still runs the band. The planned gig is scheduled before the end of the year and will take place at a high-end venue on Victoria Island, Lagos.