The Wailers at Indigo2
On the walk up to the 02, there is a wall that sequentially lists seminal music moments throughout history, and Bob Marley and The Wailers earn a mention at 1974 for No Woman, No Cry. Flash-forward 39 years and the love for that song – and many others from Marley’s career – remains undiminished, so much so that their current tour is dedicated solely to performing their iconic greatest hits album Legend in its entirety. Tonight’s venue is the Indig02, a far smaller and sleeker venue than its mammoth neighbour, but one that is no less chic, hi-tech or sonically imposing.
Unsurprisingly for a group five decades deep into their career, the line-up has had to be refreshed along the way, but still at the centre of the sound is Aston “Family Man” Barrett, or “King of the Reggae Bass Line”. And aside from a few crackly bass notes early on, the tone, volume and mix that the audience is treated to is so exquisite, it’s little wonder that the crowd can’t help but get up, stand up, and start jamming.
To describe tonight’s stage show as minimal could be seen as overstating the matter as eight small lights projecting the three colours of the Jamaican flag is as ambitious as its gets. But it matters not one jot as this evening is about the pure, unadulterated joy that music can summon and the show is a ceaseless stream of hits with memorable moments.
The guitar solo during No Woman, No Cry benefits from having a bit more rock ‘n’ roll-esque fuzz injected into it; the opening, bass-laden grooves of Could You Be Loved defy onlookers to remain stationary. Much amusement can be had in imagining that polemical Get Up, Stand Up is a Rage Against the Machine track minus the overt anger. And if the chorus to Three Little Birds doesn’t lift you from your post-summer comedown, then perhaps only a dozen cans of Marley’s Mellow Mood will.
“How ya feeling?” asks current vocalist Duane “Danglin” Anglin throughout the night – a question answered with emphatic cheerfulness every single time.
Photos: Krish Nagari
For further information and future events visit the Wailers’ website here.
Watch the video for Three Little Birds here: