Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Concerts Axed in Anti-Gay Row; Now Police under Pressure to Ban London Show over 'Murder Music'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Concerts Axed in Anti-Gay Row; Now Police under Pressure to Ban London Show over 'Murder Music'

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDR PAINE

TWO concerts by antigay reggae star Sizzla Kalonji have been called off at the last minute amid threats of protests over so-called "murder music".

Now police are under pressure to ban a London show on Saturday amid growing concern about the Jamaican act's lyrics in the wake of the killing of barman David Morley.

Advisers to Scotland Yard have demanded officers stop the concert in Stratford.

The tour was scheduled to begin tonight in Milton Keynes but the event was cancelled late last night by the venue, Thames Valley Police said. A second date in Birmingham is also off.

Campaigners are now warning it is "inappropriate, insensitive and macabre" that any shows should go ahead following the killing of Mr Morley. The 37-year-old gay man was beaten to death by youths on the South Bank at the weekend.

Sizzla, 28, sings lyrics which allegedly encourage fans to "kill dem battyboys" - the latter word being patois for gay men.

The song Boom Boom has the lyric "kill queers". He was due to arrive in the country today.

The singer - real name Miguel Orlando Collins - is among eight reggae acts whose music is being investigated by police.

Others under investigation for incitement to murder include Buju Banton, Elephant Man and Grammy award winner Beenie Man.

Sizzla's promoters remained defiant in the face of the protests and insisted the tour would continue.

In Stratford, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Group has written to the local police commander - Chief Superintendent Mick Johnson of Newham police - urging him to use public order powers to prevent Saturday's concert going ahead.

Rachael Hopkins and Bob Hodgson, co-chairs of the group, said: "The impact on the London lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of the murder of David Morley cannot be underestimated. …

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