The Wailers - O2 Academy Birmingham - 15th March 2017


The Wailers returned to Birmingham and the O2 Academy was 'jammed' full.

As the O2 Academy Birmingham started to fill, support J J Soul adorned the stage with her mellow, cheerful vibe with a beautiful blessed voice of an angel. Hailing from London she didn't disappoint with her half an hour set showcasing her talented tracks as one of the first supports to watch out for this year.

Within five minutes Shanty stormed the storage bringing an uptempo vibe to get the crowd swaying on their feet, compromising of guitars, keyboards drums and a mean horns section they made way for the main act. Lead singers Levi and Local lad Ben Complemented each other's vocals with the lively dub bass vibes and their fast flowing rhythmical lyrics capturing the crowd and encouraging the interaction declaring the merchandise stand had cheap wolves prices on their gear, leaving the cheering crowd wanting more and ready for the mighty mighty Wailers.

“How y'all feeling? Are you ready to get this party up in here?”cried singer and guitar player Junior Marvin as the sounds vibrated through the floor .

Opening with “Irie” and “Natural mystic” the lights of green, gold and red set the stage. Vocals were shared between Junior and talented Josh David Barrett as the sisters joined them on stage to get the crowd going with crowd favourite “Buffalo soldier”, three songs in.

As the Crowd erupted in cheers, the sing along did not stop there as hit after hit echoed through the crowded venue. “Rastaman Vibration”,”Is This Love” and “I Shot the Sheriff”had the crowd throwing their hands in the air, followed by an introduction to band members, before the stage glowed red and the chords struck for "No Woman No Woman No Cry".

As the pace slowed down The emotion of “Wait In Vain” echoed within the crowd before the happy vibes returned “Three Little Birds/One Love” and closing the night on high with”Jamming”.

“Thank you Birmingham we love you all the way from Kingston Jamaica” Junior Marvin blessed the crowd for coming to see The Wailers.

As the crowd cried and whistled for more,after a ten minute break the Wailers returned to the 02 Birmingham for a spectacular 35 minute encore.

As Josh David donned his acoustic guitar, he dedicated the sweet, poignant “Stand Firm” as a commendation to those who lost their lives in a church in South Carolina in June 2015 before Junior accompanied him on stage to keep the pace with the beautiful “Redemption Song”.

“Lively Up Yourself” and “Could You Be Loved” re started the party where they had left it when “Jamming” finished , crowd throwing arms in the air , dancing on the spot and bobbing from side to side . “The stage beckoned “Come on Birmingham!” as the beat dropped for “Get Up Stand Up” followed by “Exodus” and a breeze of air con filled the steamy venue as the night of amazing hits came to an end.

Words - Hayley Clark

Pictures - Marc Osborne

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