Bob Marley and the Wailers
Rainbow Theatre, London, England
June 2nd, 1977 (rare unreleased date)
Two of Bob Marley’s most famous live shows were performed in London. The 1975 shows from the Lyceum used to make the “Live” release and the
June 4th 1977 show from the Rainbow used for the “Live at the Rainbow” release. Here is a rare recording from a different night in the historic run of shows at the Lyceum.
This show is almost a instrumental only set. Bob’s vocals are so low in the mix you can’t really hear him.
* the SBD version sounds good, but the vocals are almost turned off, so it’s almost only instrumental.
* rare 1977 performance of “Concrete Jungle”.
* the date is not confirmed, but the show usually circulates by this date.
* the show was most likely filmed on video, as probably were all Rainbow 1977 dates.
transfer done 2006-08-03 by.T.Jones ( thanks Tim) right click and save as to download, left click on a track to play it.
Below is an article by Vivien Goldman from Sounds June 11th, 1977 with her account of one of the nights in this historic run at the Rainbow
11 June 1977
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Rainbow Theatre, London
Vivien Goldman, Sounds, 11 June 1977
THE TENSION in the Rainbow was almost painful, the only relief the appearance of the Wallers.
And the curtain rises on a scene of splendour: two columns on either side of the stage soar the full height of the Rainbow, lions rampant on each one. The backdrop, painted by Tony Wright, is more atmospheric than I’d imagined it could be, warm reds and golds evoking Kingston at night, palms etched behind shantytown, lights blur in the distance.
It’s the first time the band’s played an Exodus-based set, (the European dates featured a range of classics) and there are a couple of loose edges in key and tempo. But any slight roughness is over-shadowed by the passion of Bob’s singing.
Tonight is a crucial night, the first presentation of his new material to the capital of reggae outside Jamaica itself. Each song builds and builds to heights of concentrated power. As ‘Natural Mystic’ opens the set, a tide of pure, high energy sings through the theatre.
It’s so satisfying, watching the Wailers. I love the way Family Man plays bass, planted firm, like a tree growing from sturdy roots – just the stolid set of his shoulders shouts that he’ll never give up the fight. Carly drums in crisp clockwork chops, every limb alert. Seeco calmly shifts through percussion parts, always adding oblique, unexpected emphasis. New guitarist Junior Marvin delights in showmanship, tantalising the audience with wheeling seagull swoops at his guitar, dancing vigorously back and forth, while Tyrone behind the banked keyboards bobs in smiling counterpoint. The I Three dip and sway, looking very exotic tonight in off-theshoulder white-ruffles, red gold and green turbans imperiously swathing their heads.
‘So Much Thing To Say’, merges into ‘Guiltiness’, my favourite track on the album, a disturbingly precise blend of remorselessness towards the guilty and remorse at the very existence of the downpressor… Bob shudders with passion while he sings, emotion squeezes through his voice as wine squeezes from grapes.
One of my favourite moments of the set is ‘Rastaman Vibration’, with a new keyboards part from Tyrone, a subtle alteration in the pulse that delicately flings the song into a new light. Tyrone stuns now, and Seeco performs amazing rhythm runs that flicker round the Carly/Famlly Man unit in a quicksilver outline. Positive.’No Woman No Cry’ moves you. It has to be that way.
‘Lively Up Yourself’ suddenly swirls into a new near-Latin texture, just like the title suggests, it shakes the audience into a more physical mood – revitalises the veins, brightens the bones, and boosts the blood. ‘Jamming’ is exuberant: exultant: joyous, again, just as it should be. Somewhere around that time, Junior delivered some sparse and bouncily imaginative guitar breaks, provocative and visual, and received extravagantly enthusiastic applause (Birth Of New Guitar Hero?)
Of course, there has to be an encore. ‘Get Up Stand Up’ is so perfect it seems unavoidable. That’s when Family Man’s bass seemed to roar, after a night of solid rumbling thunder. Now it’s an army of marching feet again, an imperturable onslaught on your whole body, battering you into submission. I discover that when my head droops in a parallel line to the floor, the bass bounces upwards and directly through the frontal lobes, controlling the pulse-rate, I’m certain, and the heart beat.
Again, there’s a classic inevitably to ‘Exodus’ as an encore. It’s so powerful, it grabs your soul and squeezes. Difficult to follow. Certainly at this point in time, when the song seems to tug just under the surface of Bob’s skin.Then the song gushes out from so deep inside him it hurts. For once, his eyes stare wide open, he’s in a transcendental state, anguish firing his wiry super-fit blue-denim’d body to a new stature. He grows before your eyes, and his voice swells and swells and swells, sounds as if they’re turning his vocals up so high, adding echoes and echoes till the board must explode.
Or maybe his voice is simply growing louder and louder till it threatens to vibrate the bolts fixing the roof to the building, the way Ella Fitzgerald’s voice shatters glass on the Memorex ads, and the roof will simply rise heavenwards on a bubbling hot geyser of Bob’s voice, pulsing it higher and higher each time he shouts MOVE. “We’re leaving Babylon,” he stresses ardently, “going to our FATHERS’ LAND”. Tyrone’s voicebox twists mysteriously round Bob’s singing.
And then it’s “We the generation, tried through great tribulation” over and over, round and round. Each time the anguish of the lament deepens, till it’s a cry against all wrong in the world, from the abundance of thievery going on in the audience even while he’s singing so passionately and explicitly of everything that’s right and true, to every other bitter idiocy that’s perpetrated on this planet. Higher and higher.
© Vivien Goldman, 1977
Thanks to Michael Watson for this article, you can check his blog here Midnight Raver
From the famous officially released night at the Rainbow Theater, The complete show from youtube.