Bob Marley and The Wailers – ‘Legend’

By the summer of ’85 our social life was gathering pace. At age 17 I was a shy boy with limited confidence having led a sheltered and comfortable life, certainly compared to my closest friends. Life had been relatively straightforward, and my character and personality was yet to blossom. At 19 I was playing catch up with much gusto. My mates were in bands, we were hitting bars, pubs and clubs and very quickly we found our spiritual home – Charivari at The Cabaret Club.

‘Charivari’ meaning: ‘a medley of discordant sounds’

Charivari was the brainchild of Toby Rose and Pete Young. In 1985 new romantics had all but vanished and the hip-hop and acid scene were yet to really kick in. Wham, Duran Duran, Madonna and Shakin’ Stevens were top of the pops and Bournemouth was crying out for an alternative club.

Charivari was packed on a weekly basis with nearly 300 mods, punks, goths, hippies, suedeheads, rastas, skinheads, rockabillies, beatniks and all manner of student alternatives who wanted to be amongst like-minded, wide-eyed music appreciados, and if there was one artist who seemed to be appreciado’d more than any other, it was Bob Marley. His music transcended barriers; be it musical, political or whichever youth cult you’d aspire to. The sheer joy of Could You Be Loved is futile to resist.

Legend had been released the year before and was the obvious go to album, even though most of the songs were at least faintly familiar to me already. Whilst the album showcases none of Marley’s early ska roots, it simply glows with love and empathy, pleading for kindness and unity in a world full of injustice and oppression.

Mention Jamaican culture and Rastafarianism and Bob Marley comes to mind immediately, and with a message of such genuine warmth and love, no other artist’s music has had such ability to bring people together. Whilst Bob Marley personifies reggae music, his music was enriched with funk and soul rhythms and pop melodies. His legacy lives on far beyond his music…

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively”

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