Former top-flight dancehall star-turned-preacher, the charismatic Lieutenant Stitchie, had many tongues wagging on Saturday night as he unleashed a dazzling dancehall-flavoured set on the second night of Rebel Salute 2014 at Richmond Estate, St Ann.

Stitchie, who left the dancehall for the church in 1997, all but rolled back the clock, as while his lyrics were not secular and were introduced with Christian-style social commentary, his handling of the stage evoked pleasant memories of his dancehall days.

The veteran DJ and minister rode hardcore rhythms, speed rapped and unleashed high-flying aerial splits, with apparent ease.

“Dem seh me inna church and dem think mi mouth gone on retreat,” said Stitchie, seemingly trying to explain his presence on the show.

“Mi a teacher, man a nuh bleacher, a Jesus me a feature,” Stitchie continued, trying to lighten the mood, as some patrons seemed concerned he was about to step away from his calling.

“A work me come fi do.”

While he made sure to explain his stance on Christianity and spoke about some of the temptations he had endured, the manner in which he handled songs like Big Broad HipsLearn Fe ReadHello CarolNatty Dreadlocks and Wear Yu Size, which formed a part of his pre-Christian catalogue, suggested Stitchie had not lost his touch.

Intermittent rain throughout the night made some patrons a little uncomfortable, as they were forced to use their chairs as makeshift umbrellas. Many simply ignored the rain, choosing instead to soak up the excitement on stage.

– Adrian Frater