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Lee Scratch Perry, Vision Of Paradise Premiere, Duke Of York Cinema, Brighton

Most birthday parties are dismal, dull affairs with poor cake and screaming kids. Imagine how boring our own 80th birthday would be like.

However if you are a musical legend, and I use the word legend in its proper context, your birthday parties are somewhat different.

Lee Scratch Perry has been producing and making records for close to 60 years. We have been lucky enough to get a premier of his new film that celebrates the last decade of his life and his vision for the future. To say he is young at heart is to do him a severe injustice.

His film Vision Of Paradise is a dream for any reggae or indeed music fan as it takes us behind the scene of his creative process, which is unlike any artist we know. His sheer brilliance and at times bonkers approach to music production is unparalleled. He almost seems to be to feel every note and echo and has a spiritual connection to some higher purpose.

The documentary claims to be his life, his history and his story. Perry himself is here to conquer all vampires and a host of talking heads from some of the main producers in the business pay homage to a guy that brought colour into their world. Yet this is more than just another documentary of a legend. This feels like this is Perry almost last attempt to make us see the world in his eyes. To understand the beauty of nature and how corruption and money are temporary and yet how music can transcend all barriers. The film is part documentary, part story and his visions are played out using colourful cartoon imagery. It is a feast for the eyes and the ears that enriches the soul.

It is amazing to see the sheer amazement from fellow musicians about how someone with the very basic technology produced and is still producing music, dubs, echoes, rhythms and sounds which are unique to him and still amaze and puzzle our ears. These productions have lasted decades and are still as fresh and as relevant as they were the day he made them.

These sounds came from the famous Black Arc Studio which Perry set up as a production centre. He would latter burn it down in one of his erratic periods with Perry thinking that evil spirits which he cited as money and greed had taken over the studio. So the film shows some footage from his productive 1970s period and then we are shown into Perry’s home for a never before seen glimpse into his life and times.

If you like your musicians as true artists then this is for you, if you like music then this is for you. If you have never heard of him then this is for you. As the great creator himself says in the closing moments of the film.

"Words give I the power to say anything/Words give I the power to control the universe

There is no reason for God to grow up for God must be a child forever."

We left the Duke Of York feeling closer and educated into a world vision from one of the true legend in modern music. No amount of cold or rain could dampen our spirits as we had just been educated by the wonder of Mr Lee Scratch Perry.

Vision Of Paradise will be available to stream via iTunes, Amazon Prime and Netflix from the April 8.  

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