Hasani Walters, Gleaner Writer
Upon recognising a niche in the food, sports and entertainment markets, the members of Kingston Live Entertainment (K.L.E.) knocked heads and came up with the brand Tracks and Records. All that was left for them to do was to successfully pitch the idea to their ideal partner Usain Bolt, and his team. They did, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Upon entrance, the 45s on the walls begin to paint an image of what’s on the inside, Jamaican culture wonderfully mixed with the audio, visual and culinary arts. A few steps further and you enter the tracks through gate four.
The gun goes off and you sweep the lounge’s horizon, stopping your sweep to marvel at the large screen which shows Lionel Messi running at a Real Madrid defence.
You’re then forced to look above to the ceiling to see what else could be there.
Then you see it and realise its beauty and the effort put into creating it, the magnificent attempt to revolutionise the Jamaican entertainment scene, as said by K.L.E.’s Tina Matalon.
Ludo, monopoly, checkers and snakes and ladders games created on some of the tables provides just a peek into the entertainment value the lounge provides.
The state-of the-art booths with interactive touch-screen tables, which K.L.E. member Kevin Bourke described as Tracks and Records’ pride and glory, is one of the jaw-droppers that the lounge boasts. There are only seven outlets in the world with such technology.
Orders and modifications to foods from the Nyammings and Big Food menus can be done right there and then. You can send your order electronically to the kitchen.
While waiting for a meal there are several media to keep you entertained.
There is a media centre, complete with exclusive photos and video footage of Bolt, which offers an extensive catalogue of songs and music videos. Sweet Jamaica by Mr Vegas and Boyz by M.I.A. were being played as Bourke demonstrated the device’s capability.
It has split-screen functionality, games and a movie centre, which shows movie trailers, movies coming soon and movies in the theatres.
One can also snap a photo and send it straight to the Internet from the interactive table.
The lounge is equipped with four such interactive booths.
Poster boards displaying events such as Rapids Sound Explosion, Guinness Sounds of Greatness and Fully Loaded can be seen in abundance throughout the lounge.
When asked about their purpose, Bourke explained that that section of the lounge’s aesthetic appeal was given a ‘yardie’ feel.
If you looked up, you would agree with Burke after viewing large Christmas lights hanging overhead in that area.
Bourke went on to say that each section had its own vibe, so anyone can enter the lounge and feel comfortable and welcome.
Great crowd response
There have not been many entertainment events at Tracks and Records thus far, however, comedic duo Ity and Fancy Cat recently held a Mother’s Day comedy show at the lounge and the response to their performance, Bourke said, was very good.
He said the two, along with others such as Donald ‘Iceman’ Anderson and Rozah Rose had all in attendance in stitches.
According to Bourke when ‘behind the screen’, a series of live music shows commences it will definitely be a hit. They are hoping to feature acts such as Beres Hammond, Gyptian, Shaggy and Sean Paul.
Several big games of football, basketball, boxing and cricket have also attracted people to the lounge.
Burke’s comments came amid bops of his head in tune to Half Pint’s Substitute Lover which played in the background as he sat on a stool at the bar shaped like a stadium track.
On the walls of Tracks and Records several frames containing the records of reggae and dancehall artistes such as Super Cat, Tanya Stephens, Desmond Dekker and the Aces, The Maytals, Anthony B, Steel Pulse, Max Romeo, Jimmy Cliff, Yellowman and Mikey General can be seen.
The atmosphere is very laid-back, it seems to fit whatever the occasion – drinks with the guys, a date with the honey or just some down time with friends.
With a smile on her face, Matalon said that Tuesday night was a spectacle as every section of the lounge was active. Young people were there lounging, a group of women were at another section drinking wine, and her smile widened when she mentioned the guys at the bar who were having a good time.
They have successfully planted their roots in Jamaican soil and there are already plans to bring the Tracks and Records brand outside of Jamaica and ‘to di world’. As Bourke said, “We were just trying to keep it very authentic Jamaica, sticking to our roots, and while we’ve opened the first one here we’re planning to go global looking at other key markets in other countries, but we wanted to plant the roots here in Jamaica first.”