Support comes from Hollie Cook, who has just released her second album, aptly named “Twice” on Brighton based Mr. Bongo records. Most reviews of her work start by mentioning her famous parents but she’s a star in her own right, looking self assured on stage as she presents her new songs. She’s got a full band with her tonight and they ably help her showcase the Roots Reggae vibe of her new songs. She possesses a gently lilting voice that suits the laid back yet danceable arrangements and gets a good reception from the already busy venue. She also brings on UK Reggae veteran Horseman, who usually performs with both Hollie Cook and Prince Fatty and who has a double time style of chatting that further compliments the songs. A good opening set showcasing a good second album.
Ziggy Marley has just released his fifth album ‘Fly Rasta’ which has a running theme of exploring the deteriorating planet and the ongoing environmental crisis. Tonight he’s playing a selection from this album and some of his previous songs, and has assembled a great band that consists of drums, bass, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, percussion, two keyboard players and two backing singers.
They kick off with “Love Is My Religion”, an exuberant and uptempo song that gets the sold out crowd moving straight away. His voice is great, but you can’t help hearing the similarity to his Dad. It’s not necessarily a criticism though, particularly when he also plays “So Much Trouble” and “Is This Love” and you see the huge reactions playing these old this produces.
It’s a great set, encompassing new songs like “I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars” as well as his older material like “Tomorrow People” from his 1988 album “Conscious Party”. His backing singers are also a good addition as they provide some energetic dancing alongside perfect harmonies. When they end with the title track “Fly Rasta” it’s a great way to finish off what has been an uplifting gig full of great songs.