Toots and the Maytals, o2abc Glasgow, 13th July 2010
Reggae Got Soul
Arriving at the o2abc is always a special experience, one of the best venues in Glasgow this picture house turned gig spot and nightclub is purpose built for voyeurism and entertainment. The grand arch of the main hall gives an excellent view of the stage (and the world’s largest rotating disco ball) no matter where you are.
Gracing the boards of Glasgow’s best loved ex-cinema turned live venue, the legendary Toots and the Maytals are here for one night only to shower their Scottish audience with love, reggae, bass and a showstopping performance.
Support came from Edinburgh ska juggernauts Bombskare, the pirate rouge brigade of Captain Slackships Mezzanine Allstars and the experienced bright and loveable shenanigans of The Amphetameanies while Bass Warrior Soundsystem kept the crowd warm during the show breaks.
The Maytals start off and suddenly Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert bursts on the stage in clad in a white sleeveless jacket and trousers and the party has started. With more energy than a 1969 James Brown and more electrifying shimmy shake dance moves than a kettle of cobras high on caffeine, Toots is as spry as he was 40 years ago.
The atmosphere the band creates is one of absolute joy. Built on a heavy foundation of reggae, Toots and the Maytals blend together the best parts of soul, gospel and ska together in their performance of older hits and newer songs.
As always the band is tight and lively while Toot’s vocal capabilities are knock your socks off impressive.
Demonstrating the kind of energy normally associated with neon coloured sports drinks, the show goes on long after bedtime for a school night but the energy remains high and The Maytals clear and declared love for their audience never wanes.
It would be hard to pick a highlight from the show as the reggae all stars never missed a beat or gave anything less than everything to each song, but performances of Funky Kingston, Pressure Drop, True Love is Hard to Find, Take Me Home Country Road, 54 – 56 That’s My Number, Louie Louie and Reggae Got Soul enraptured the crowd and caused a dancing frenzy
An encore and extended version of Monkey Man tied up the evening , the air thick and the heat Caribbean in the vast dome of the o2abc and over 1000 reggae revellers went home with happy.