Review + Photography by John McEvoy

In the middle of a glorious summer heatwave, Leeds welcomed Damian Marley to the O2 on the Stony Hill Tour, his fourth album released in summer 2017.

Marley first

First up was support from London born Christopher Ellis (son of Reggae luminary Alton Ellis) who delivered a stylish mixture mix of reggae and R&B and it was clear that this guy knows how to work a crowd and his 45 minute set was well received. From what I witnessed it’s only a matter of time before he headlines his own tour.

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There was a real sense of excitement in the crowd as Damian Marley’s band took to the stage, and when the man himself appeared he received an ecstatic welcome from what looked like a capacity crowd. The fact that he is the youngest son of the absolute king of reggae, Bob Marley, certainly doesn’t seem to be a weight around his neck, as he delivered a set of sublime quality, ably supported by a tight backing band and a couple of backing vocalists.

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Midway through his set he gave a passionate speech about the medical benefits of marijuana before delivering ‘Medication’ from the Stony Hill album. Further tracks from this album followed, and ‘Time Travel’ and ‘Living it up’ were this reviewers personal favourites.

Of course it would be impossible not to acknowledge his dad’s back catalogue and ‘Exodus’ and ‘Is this Love’ did the trick and went down well with the crowd.

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Killer tune ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ brought the 90 minute set to a close and it’s safe to say that everyone there had an absolute blast. (I know I did!)

Let’s hope it’s not too long before he’s back in Leeds. Oh and one final thing, I have nothing but respect for the guy who for the whole 90 mins waved the flag onstage. That thing looked like it weighed a ton!

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