Toots and the Maytals make a welcome return to the North East of England whilst performing in front of a sold-out crowd at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

The group’s legendary frontman Toots Hibbert is somewhat of a musical pioneer. In 1968 he was one of the first artists to use the word Reggae in his song “Do The Reggay”, thus defining a musical sound which evolved from earlier genres such as Ska and Rocksteady.

The stage lit in atmospheric red, yellow and green as the star of the show is introduced to the crowd. Hibbert who is bedecked in a red and white leather suit, with a matching top hat and shades certainly looks the part. 

With a career spanning back to the 1960’s, Toots and the Maytals walks the strong Geordie crowd down memory lane, with a 90-minute set that draws from their extensive discography. The likes of the Maytals take on Richard Berry’s “Louie Louie”, the incredibly infectious “Funky Kingston” and old favourite “Bam Bam” certainly gets the Boiler Shop crowd moving. Hibbert’s voice still sounds incredible and has matured just like a fine wine.

As Storm Callum batters the UK this weekend with strong winds and severe flooding, the tropical sounds of Toots and the Maytals magically transports the capacity crowd in attendance to warmer climes.

Earlier this year Hibbert released new track “A Song Called Marley” reflecting on his friendship with the late great Bob Marley himself. The song also marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “Do The Reggay”. Subsequently, mid-way through the set, a heart-warming rendition of the number features in the show.

Toots is joined onstage tonight by his six-piece band, who comes together seamlessly throughout.

As the group heads into the final third of the show, it’s all about the classics. The Maytal’s reggae-tinged take on John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, a joyous rendition of “Pressure Drop” and the unmistakable “Monkey Man” brings the set to its explosive conclusion and has the whole room skanking to the beat.

Of course, the show would not be complete without “54-46, That’s My Number”, which in turn results in much of the room getting up on the shoulders of their friends, whilst swaying and singing along to the music.

At the age of 75, Toots Hibbert is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

Toots and The Maytals
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Event Date: 12-Oct-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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