Damian Marley live at the IndigO2
It's been a year since Bob Marley's most successful son, Damian, hit North Greenwich last time. This time he is joined by his brothers Julian and Stephen Marley in celebration of Jamaica's 50th year of independence. If you didn’t get to make it we have exclusive concert footage and here's my recollection of events:
Clearly from the Jamaican proud crowd and international reggae lovers the second night which Damian was performing showed obvious indication of his popularity here in London, seeing as it ws the same night as the opening ceremony nobody gave a shit they were missing! The place filled quickly and as with all artists, the crowd was waiting a good 3 hours from when the doors opened at 7, enough time to get a good few rounds of Old Jamaica in you!
No-one can deny the presence of the reggae legend that is Damian Marley. Not only is he the only reggae artist to win 2 Grammys on one night, he stepped up to the plate of being Bob Marleys son by having his song ‘Jamrock’ named one of the most influential songs of all time.
Queue the drums and epileptic lights while the baseline of Damian's new single ‘Make It Bun Dem’ surges throughout the audience. Then the modestly dressed Rastafarian makes his appearance with all 5ft 10 inches of his dreadlocks. With all the high energy I was definitely screaming whilst imagining what it would be like to have Bob Marley’s grandchild?
While other brothers of the family came out you could feel the chemistry and love they all had for each other on stage as they were joking around and singing their father's songs. As it came close to midnight and the end was nigh, lights went down and people were still buzzing over the experience, then Gongzilla came out to do an encore of his signature song ‘Jamrock’ and first single with Nas ‘Road to Zion’. And when we all thought it was over for real, all three of them came to do a final homage by singing ‘Could you be loved’. Bob must be proud, wherever he is.
Elated after the concert and determined to meet the man himself, I awaited backstage and was delightfully introduced to him, his manager and his entourage who had kindly invited me to the ‘after party’. After stepping onto his luxurious tour bus the realization I was hanging out with Reggae Royalty hit me. There was no disappointment of the amount of Marijuana, with what looked to be equal amounts of booze! There was one point when we had reached the Marley Hotel suite that their manager had said ‘oh shit we got a reporter here don’t do anything!’ although it was clearly too late. After a discussion about whether I was going to write what I saw, I said I’ll say what I can without saying anything at all…