For someone whom many Dominicans say should have been banned from entering the island to perform, Alkaline (real name- Earlan Bartley), the tattooed-eyeballs, bleached- skinned, slim-as-a-pencil and extremely controversial Jamaican dance hall artiste, received a royal welcome on Friday afternoon in Roseau.

Hundreds gathered in central Roseau outside the DIGICEL store on Great Marlborough Street to catch a glimpse of Alkaline.

"They would never come out so for Jesus Christ," said a member of the crowd.

After waiting for two hours, the crowd surged up Great Marlborough Street when someone shouted "Look him! Look him!!"

It was a trick from Alkaline's handlers who wanted to distract the crowd to create a path for as the artiste to enter the store where DIGICEL had scheduled a "greet and meet" event.

With his black cap covering more than half of his face, hiding his tattooed eye- balls, Alkaline was the perfect guest, answering questions, hugging DIGICEL customers and posing for photographs with I-can't-believe-that's-happening-to-me fans.

Is that the devil-worshiper, obnoxious-lyrics-performer that the evangelical churches wanted the Government to deny entry to? Or is that a manifestation of the fact that the more you vilify a product the more desirable it becomes?

Alkaline performs at a tiny Canefield park on Saturday night. But if the massive crowd that welcomed Alkaline this afternoon is any indication of his popularity in Dominica, the organisers should have booked the Windsor Park Stadium.