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The Wailers review: The hits kept coming

PUBLISHED: 10:46 13 March 2018

The Wailers. Photo: Courtesy of UEA Box Office

The Wailers. Photo: Courtesy of UEA Box Office

Courtesy of UEA Box Office

You'd need to be pushing 50 to remember seeing Bob Marley live, but fortunately for those of us not lucky enough to have seen the reggae legend in person, The Wailers kept his memory alive at The LCR on March 11.

It must be a pretty good gig being in this ever-evolving line-up, who were originally Marley’s backing band. There’s no pressure to write new material, everyone knows all your songs and, hey, the crowd will even sing every chorus for you if you point the mic in their direction.

The Wailers have the rights to perform all the reggae anthems so loved worldwide and steam through that brilliant back catalogue in a 90-minute set, although there are now no original members left in the band.

When I saw them at the UEA in 2015 they seemed on a mission to drive home the Rastafarian message at every point between songs, but three years on that all seems to have been forgotten as they now seem happier to whip the crowd up in to a hand-waving frenzy.

With the sound of sumptuous reverb pounding around the LCR, the hits keep coming. Could You Be Loved always goes down well as does Redemption Song, but for me Exodus is their masterpiece.

The song’s lyrics about political displacement and searching for inner happiness have travelled well down the decades and are just as apt and relevant now as they were 40 years ago, which is possibly one reason why this band are still such a big draw when they play live.

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