by Howard Campbell
MIAMI – Relaxing on a sofa at Inner Circle’s rehearsal studio in North Miami, Roger Lewis was still recuperating from the band’s hectic four-month world tour.
Despite his road wariness, he is looking forward to one more gig that will close out a year when the self-proclaimed Bad Boys of Reggae celebrated their 50th anniversary.
On November 3, the band acknowledges that milestone with a gala at their Circle House complex in North Miami. A number of special guests, including early members Ibo Cooper, Stephen “Cat” Coore and Willie Stewart, will attend.
Lewis, who founded the band with his younger brother Ian in Kingston, Jamaica in 1968, expects a nostalgic evening.
“Wi would really like the function to be nice. Wi want it to be a coming together with all di old time man dem…Cat, Cooper an’ Willie,” he said. “If wi can get everybody together an’ hold a little jam vibe dat woulda be great.”
Starting June 13, Inner Circle did 46 shows which included 36 festivals, mainly in Europe. They also performed in Lebanon and Morocco.
The formidable legacy they amassed over the years is part of the six-piece band’s set. That includes songs like Tenement Yard and Chapter A Day, which were recorded with singer Jacob Miller during the the Rockers era of the mid to late 1970s.
Miller died in an auto accident age 27 in 1980.
Another highlight of Inner Circle’s show are the chart-topping songs Sweat and Bad Boys which sparked their amazing comeback in the early 1990s.
Roger Lewis, who plays rhythm guitar, stressed that he and his bass playing brother have no plans to stop touring anytime soon.
“Di only way that happen is if yuh have any form of disharmony, but once things are enjoyable it’s good.”
Keyboardist Bernard “Touter” Harvey, who has been in the band for over 40 years, and drummer Lancelot Hall, who joined 33 years ago, are the other core Inner Circle members. Guitarist Ronnie Gutierrez and singer Trevor “Skatta” Bonnick complete the current line-up.