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The Culture Center "Gems" in Singen was full of good vibes at THE LIONS´ concert. They play a mixture of Afro-Jazz and zippy arranged reggae.. (...) Extended solistic interludes were appreciated as well as the moody performance of the lead singer and female backing vocals on stage.
Rasta locks were not only seen on stage - but in the audience as well: Reggae fans aged between 16 and 60 represented the whole scale of hair colours and styles and provided a bright background.
Hairdresswise singer Paps Natty General was No. 1 - like a palmtree his braided hair elapsed from his head (...)
With lots of effort and emphasis the dancers requested an encore, what they finally received by a jazzy Reggae tune. Persistently they begged for more, but enough is enough: After two and a quarter hours the musicians left the stage light.
Südkurier 2. 3. 1999
The Cracker came in the Evening
The "Kalkwerk" Festival ended on Sunday evening with a real cracker: the Roots Reggae Band THE LIONS.
As the Band members, who understand themselves as Freedom Fighters, origin from Africa and not from Jamaica, their Reggae mingles of course, with African elements. This couldn´t be seen only by the musicians´ clothes. Weird Percussions provided a danceable Groove, and the Lead Singer with the beautiful name Paps Natty General, with funny hairstyle and an ever repeating "We love you all", highly impressed even the youngest "Kalkwerk"-visitors: A little girl climbed onstage without any shyness to dance with the "General".
Nassauische Neue Presse 10. 6. 1997
The Lions were on Saturday night in the packed "Volksbad". THE LIONS´ Concert, promoted by the "Afrika AG" ended in an inspired as well as exhausted temper of German and African Reggae fans.
Thus the six musicians from Ghana, Tunisia, Nigeria and the Caribbean (...) do their job. They played "Reggae from the Roots", authentic music from the Caribbean with African roots and western influence like Drum´n´Bass and Ska, but Jazz phrases as well.
"This is African Music" was the motto of the concert. (...) Not only the foremost front of the Dreadlock Fraction was grooving. The intensive rhythm forced also the backrows of Reggae fans into continuous movement. Especially the (...) vocals of charismatic front man "Lionspapa" Natty General put a spell on the listeners. There was a suppressed person singing against discrimination with political lyrics, there was a preacher binding up religious words into catchy melodies, there was a bundle of energy causing ecstatic movements in the audience. Not run-out-of-the-mill Reggae, but "World Roots Reggae" created trance-like conditions for the musicians as well as the audience.
THE LIONS demanded respect and unity of nations - and found their musical message materialized "in a small size" at this evening in the steaming "Volksbad".
Flensburger Tageblatt 26. 10. 1998
His name is Paps Natty General, he comes from Ghana (...) and does a great performance as front man.
Paps Natty and drummer Admiral Ali are the only remaining founding members of Hamburg Reggae Band THE LIONS (founded in 1990). (...)
At least on and in front of stage political and cultural borders were not counting on this evening.
Beside the Rasta-locked front man the eight-piece LIONS Band provided temper in the hall: The two background vocalists Gontse and Lily surprised with an a capella solo right after the break (...) and gained stormy applause for that. Apart from that there were heavy grooves with typical Reggae songs like "Boogie Reggae Daughter" and "Father of I". White Lion Doctor Bogarth, the only white man in the group, conjured up, beside the usual chords, also the typical horn sections off of his keyboard. In between Shaibu at the percussions provided exotic sound elements.
"Every human being is like God / Allah / Jah Jah created him/her, and it is good like it is." This central statement became pronounced musically and in the interaction of the musicians. Band and guests had broad pleasure and danced into the new week.
Hohenloher Zeitung 24. 12. 1998
The musicians of the band love what they do, and beside the mood they want to place a message. (...)
People danced, and the few guests who were not so capable of the English language, felt surely what the Lions had to say.
They are singing for a better world without war and oppression and they are fighting for the freedom of human beings. Moreover they advocate African Unity. (...) For these people not only create music, but also are trying to live according to it. The new Album "World Pirate" (EURAF recordings, Hamburg) is meanwhile available and hopefully makes more people again relax and reflect.
IRIE (good wishes)!
SZENE AKTUELL 02 / 99
A massive crowd saluted the guests coming into the "Scheune". Was it that they all wanted to see THE LIONS or that as this month there wasn´t so much happening in Dresden anyway concerning concerts, and so one was searching for the few highlights? Anyway a big pack of people were pulled into the "Scheune" to this Reggae event.
THE LIONS were on the road to introduce their third record "World Pirate". So the tour of same denominator also led them to Dresden. Rarely the audience was as mixed as today, and the band was like that: 2 women as background singers and 6 men on Keyboards, Bass, Drums and Microphones came from Germany, Tunisia, South Africa and mainly Ghana. THE LIONS call their music Roots Reggae, and it sounds not quite like the sound of Marley. Heavy political lyrics mixed with Reggae, African and also South American Rhythms made the audience dance to "Scheune"-typical form. The whole hall was dancing, sometimes still more heated up by interludes of the female Band members, who know exactly how to pose their bodies. The two men on the microphone, Admiral Ali and Paps Natty General, appeared with Rastafari hairdresses, the latter with a several centimeters thick and a surely 30 centimeters long plait, uprising through his cap.
The two hours passed rather fastly, and the message of the evening had hopefully reached too: More Respect!
Prayers had helped: Heaven was sympathizing with the Open Air from the start. Most beautiful summer weather was waiting for the visitors, who had made it to the Festival area up on top of the mountain. In southern temperatures of 30 degrees and beautiful sunshine the Reggae brothers of THE LIONS felt like home. And everybody could hear this. The Africans on their "World Pirate Tour" stopped also in Eichstätt. Relaxed, but with visible joy of playing THE LIONS demonstrated how influences from Jamaica and Black Africa can be fruitfully connected. Many mountaineers used the LIONS´ sound to recreate from the fatigues of the journey and to get themselves into Open Air mood quite comfortably.
Meanwhile their third CD is on the market now. They have been in the studio for long and produced well arranged songs. What takes long, will get well. They have united their African Homeland on this CD, backgrounded with Reggae Rhythm. Valuation: Here comes the General!
grow! 5 / 99
They certainly come from Ghana and Tunisia - but their real love is for Reggae.
And also otherwise Paps Natty General and Admiral Ali, who together form THE LIONS, let borders merge: On their latest Album "World Pirate" (EURAF /Semaphore) the two open themselves to different styles like Rap, Drum´n´Bass and of course Reggae - in the African version! As the sounds of the Lions get right into the blood, the two chosen Hamburgers hit the head with the lyrics: Again and again it´s about the demand for peace, specially at the Gulf and in Africa; against corrupt politicians and drug dealing in the streets. That´s how exciting World Music can be
.Harburger Anzeigen und Nachrichten 13. 2. 1999
After their first two Roots records now beside African and Oriental elements also relations to HipHop and Dancehall music can be heard. Under the influence of German producer and keyboardist Doctor Bogarth the exile Africans Paps Natty General (Ghana) and Admiral Ali (Tunisia) opened themselves moreover to classical European ways of composing.
The successful handling of unusual bar measures like 6/4 or 12/8 as well as lyrics in English, Arabian and different of African dialects are an expression of this new variety. Moreover THE LIONS have enriched their music with many European and African guest musicians. This is significant, because their unmisunderstandable message evokes the peaceful and liberal unity of Africa and the entire world.
"World Pirate" not only lets the borders merge between African and European culture, traditional and modern music, but tries to unite mankind based on resistance to prevailing systems.
With this, THE LIONS succeeded in a danceable and very diversified Album
.SZENE HAMBURG 4 / 99
Musically interesting: You peddle between Reggae, HipHop, Soca and Camel-driver-sounds. Musicologically interesting: there is a 1-Drop-Shuffle ("World Pirate"), Nyabinghi-Rhythm ("Inside Babylon Walls") and according to the info "Salam Hadji" is the "worldwide first Reggae song in 6/4 measure". And it is probably the worldwide first Reggae record on which the BPM numbers are listed.
OXMOX 3 / 99
English, Arabian and different African languages and dialects let the listeners participate of THE LIONS´ great Philosophy. Definitely listen to: "Salam Hadji", the worldwide first Reggae song in 6/4 measure with unresistable Bass line.
InMusic 04 / 99
In January 1998 Paps Natty General was stabbed and nearly killed, an assassination the musician survived after a ten hours operation. He and Admiral Ali are the two Africa-originated Lead Singers of Hamburg formation THE LIONS, who present their third Album and so should please all Rasta-Riddim-Fans right away. For tunes like "Silence" or the title song are clear and pure Roots Reggae. But THE LIONS are looking far beyond the Jamaica-Junkies´ plate edge (...). For the opener "Salam Hadji" or "Walesh" show that here piled up Afro elements are sounding and an alert, fresh crossover is cultivated. Though the main accent is on crisp Reggae in various ways of playing, which in "Inside Babylon Walls" also lets us hear traditional Nyabinghi Rhythms like Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus, otherwise doesn´t completely fear modernistic baubles but no way rests on the mixing board. The Album has got pure soul and a lively atmosphere. There are also a few trendy HipHop elements, and the info says there is something like "Drum´n´Bass influence". Probably for people who don´t know that Drum´n´Bass derives from Reggae.
Feedback 3 / 99