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LIVE REVIEW: House Of Marley Launch, London

30th anniversary of Bob Marley's death...

By Samson Pharaoh on Tuesday 1st November 2011 Photo by WENN/Fayes Vision

Julian and Rohan Marley were in London to celebrate the life of their father with an exclusive event in the West End. The showcase honored the 30th anniversary of their father’s death in 1981 and marked the launch of the new Marley brand. The night was wrapped up in the Marley family values of good times, good food and good music and TaleTela was invited down to take it all in…

Guests were greeted to the sounds of Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ upon arrival at Café De Paris in London’s Piccadilly Circus. The reggae tunes over the arena’s PA system and the plentiful assortment of Jamaican snacks on offer automatically created a breezy casual atmosphere, the springboard upon which the whole night would take place.

The event was about launching a brand new Marley brand, the Marley inspired charity 1Love and the release of their new eco-friendly audio products. The audience was shown video depicting the Rastafari legend’s vision of “peace, hope and unity.” These videos could’ve become a little sickly if it was anyone else, but because the inspiration was Bob the footage remained appropriate, and done with love.

Dressed casually Rohan Marley then took to the stage, to an excited venue full of older and younger fans. The cool, slightly eccentric showman basked in the spotlight saying, “Tonight is a very special night…I’m here to tell you why we are here.” The charismatic 39-year-old went on to highlight the significance of London to his father and the importance of sustainable materials in regards to the production of the new Marley branded headphones. He then introduced the winner of Live & Unsigned Sam Garrett to perform a couple of tracks.

It was clear to see how Garrett won the nationwide talent competition when he performed track ‘Butterfly’, but his songs didn’t silence the audience. The singer/songwriter performed acoustically successfully and was respectful; dedicating his track ‘The Story’ to Julian Marley. 

After a considerable intermission, Rohan Marley bounced back on stage and gave the audience the night’s first live taste of the family’s effortless and superior command over reggae music. He teased the punters by first calling upon band The Uprising for drums, and then bouncing up and down like a boxer warming up he then asked or a bass line, after which the event wasn’t the same again. Rohan then called for his brother Julian to get up on stage and has soon has he does, he fills the room.

A relaxed, celebratory vibe hugs the venue as Julian Marley - who seriously channels his father - gets things under way with ‘When The Sun Comes Up’ and ‘Build Together.’ Julian and The Uprising ensure they are keeping the legacy of Bob Marley alive as they move on to ‘Harder Dayz’, soon the venue revels in the good feeling and the unrelenting musicianship generated by ‘Lion In The Morning’ and the particularly joyful ‘Father’s Place.’

Rohan could be seen in the audience unashamedly doing his thing to his brother’s music. Julian Marley’s solo tracks were significantly stronger in a live setting, so much so that there was no real break in musical quality has Julian moved on to tackle his father’s biggest hits. The audience was his as he defiantly unleashed the still relevant ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ and the Marley staple track ‘Exodus.’

Sadly there was no ‘Waiting In Vain’ or ‘No Woman, No Cry’ but Julian did introduce the masterful members of The Uprising – which includes some original Wailers – to the audience and is later replaced on stage by Rohan who says to the crowd, “Thank you from the house of Marley…for the warm vibrations…Do you want some more?” The now spoiled crowd screamed for an encore to which Julian appeared once again to perform ‘One Love’ and amid a power cut at the venue, the powerful ‘Redemption Song.’ Founding member of Soul II Soul Jazzie B then took over, taking to the decks and rocking the crowd right on through the night…

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