Bob Marley is rightly called the third world's first pop star, but it was rather a sad affair when the Oslo World Music Festival presented the frail remains of Marley's old band The Wailers as one of the main names of this year's festival. Next year, should the festival shake off the reggae nostalgia and show a touch of innovation by booking one of today's many glowing stars within the genre? For example, one of Bob's own sons.
There was nothing wrong with either the atmosphere at Rockefeller or the song selection during The Wailers' concert at the Oslo World Music Festival on 1 November. Four of the guys in the band have played with Bob Marley, but it didn't help much when it was totally unknown Gary Pine who was behind the microphone in classics like "Rastman Vibration" and "Exodus".
Pine has the look, but struggles with both inward charisma, a total lack of audience communication where he slams around the stage and a jumbled singing voice that was closer to Harald Eia's parody of Knut Arild Hareide than his royal Bob hotness.
The band itself was competent, but compared to dynamite concerts with Sizzla, Burning Spear and Sly & Robbie on the same stage, this evening was a china putt of a reminiscence. By booking The Wailers, the Oslo World Music Festival substantiated the enduring myth that Bob Marley is reggae only world star. Commercially, it was a completely understandable choice, but one had not had to go that way. . .
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