Review: The Wailers @ IndigO2 (London, 28th November 2015)

A legacy immortalised by Bob Marley. A future defined by the timeless nature of reggae music. The Wailers’ performance of their iconic album Legend at the Indigo O2 cemented their position as one of history’s musical gems.

For many bands that have played with such iconic frontmen and women, it can be difficult to continue their success once they have passed. But this is far from the case for The Wailers.

Current frontman Dwayne ‘Danglin’ Anglin channels Bob Marley’s energy and presence so acutely, you could have been tricked into thinking it was him if you closed your eyes.

But that isn’t at all to say Danglin is merely mimicking Marley. He brings his own unique attitude to the table that makes their music feel as current as the day it was recorded in 1984.

Bouncing onto the stage during a proud entrance, he seamlessly moved from energetic classics like ‘Is This Love’ to more sentimental tracks like ‘No Woman No Cry’ with the mettle of someone who wrote the songs himself.

The crowd were suitably roused, jumping, bouncing and swaying for the one and a half hour performance. People of all ages, races and cultures seemed united in a connection that in many ways seems unique to reggae shows.

The rest of the band’s performance was unsurprisingly rigorous on all fronts, demonstrating their sustained prowess within the genre. The show felt like revisiting the past with today’s knowledge – something many of us secretly wish we could do.

Much of the wisdom found in the words of Bob Marley hold more relevance than ever, as Danglin recognised during this show: “We’re gonna send some words of inspiration to Paris, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Syria and people facing injustice all over the world”.

The original message behind the lyrics to their songs is more important than ever in the world today – perhaps that explains how The Wailers have managed to craft timeless words and melodies even without the man who spearheaded their rise to stardom.

A long encore at the end of the show was followed by a climatic re-emergence onto the stage and a heartfelt execution of ‘Redemption Song’.

When leaving the venue, it felt as if everyone was leaving not only in high spirits, but feeling inspired to continue spreading the kind of love, peace and wisdom that Bob Marley and The Wailers promoted throughout their career. It’s legacy difficult to feel anything but respect for.

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