What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

Review: The Wailers, Newcastle O2 Academy

Bob Marley’s backing band, The Wailers, are the biggest band in the history of reggae

The O2 Academy, Newcastle
The O2 Academy, Newcastle

Bob Marley’s backing band, The Wailers, are the biggest band in the history of reggae.

The nucleus of the Wailers formed in 1969 and the only original member left is bass player Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett.

Core to the Wailers’ sound is Barrett’s bass riffs. He has influenced the development of reggae and inspired bass players outside the reggae community. This concert was part of the global Legend tour, with the Legend album performed in its entirety.

The idea reminded me of Alan Partridge declaring that his favourite Beatles album is 1962 – 1966.

Legend is the biggest-selling greatest hits compilation album in reggae history.

As soon as I entered the Academy, I was hit by the euphoria. The Wailers have mass appeal with fans of all ages.

Everyone in the packed auditorium knew the songs and didn’t need prompting to join in with the choruses.

It would be easy to be sniffy about a band pounding out their greatest hits without performing any new material.

But The Wailers know what people want to hear. They gave this audience what it wanted with passion and panache.

Martin Ellis

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer