Gig review: The Wailers, T in the Park

CONGRATULATIONS to the Wailers for not packing up and heading home moments after arriving on site, because any mention of them before they took the stage had been met with a pitying expression.

The Wailers

Main Stage

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How could their sun-kissed, semi-authentic tribute to the sound of Bob Marley and the original Wailers ever compete with the worst a Scottish summer had to throw at us? In the event, however, they seemed to take the challenge of cheering us up as a gauntlet thrown down rather than a chore to get on with.

Connections to the original and sadly largely departed Wailers are tenuous, with only original bassist Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett still among a number which includes long-serving Jamaican session keyboardist Keith Sterling and singer Koolant Brown. Yet their recreation of the classic sound was largely authentic, and fortunately steered clear of any unnecessary moments of obscurity. There were smiles and encouraging hands in the air for Is This Love? I Shot the Sheriff, Jamming and One Love, and finally the all-embracing cameraderie which Marley embodied broke through in a mass singalong of Three Little Birds, a special moment snatched from the jaws of the crowd’s dreich despondency.