Friday, April 13, 2007

Reggae Legends

At the Legend gig in Bilston, Wolverhampton last night, I bumped into one of my favourite people in the music business, Conrad Kelly, one of reggae's best drummers bar none. I hadn't seen Conrad since the two Steel Pulse gigs in Paris in November 2004, when he kindly added me to the gig guest-list after my tickets failed to show up. Conrad spent a decade with Steel Pulse before leaving the band in April 2005. He was quickly snapped up by UB40 as their percussionist on a world tour and spent over a year with the group. He's currently working on a new album with Birmingham reggae singer Messenger Douglas, so watch this space for developments. It was also great to meet Lisa for the first time, over here for six months, enjoying the delights of the British spring.

As for the gig itself, Legend provide a top quality Bob Marley experience, ably led by the authentic-sounding voice of Michael Anton Phillips. In two hours, at the well-attended Robin 2 club, they treated us to 18 Marley classics, kicking off with Exodus and running all the way through to an encore that included One Love and Could You Be Loved. In between, my favourite was Redemption Song, with Phillips displaying his vocal talents to the full. Lead guitarist Fonso showed his versatility throughout, while Leonie Smith and Elaine provided sweet backing vocals. An eight-piece band of high quality musicianship, they are well worth checking out. Visit their website for a list of their future gigs.

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