I have to admit that reggae and psychedelia is not an orthodox blend, come to think of it, it’s hardly like anything out there, and that’s what makes me admire the Easy Star All-Stars for doing something different. Different is not always good, and for those of you who hold the likes of Pink Floyd and The Beatles on a pedestal of progressive and glorious music, I would advise you to steer clear. However, there is no reason why one of the greatest conceptual albums in history, ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, cannot be opened up to a new audience of reggae skankers. I must admit that I regard some of the original music by these bands as a force that is powerful enough to change the world and at times the Easy Star All-Stars may have missed the point a little and do commit ruthless butchering of otherwise perfect music, but then again, I think, why the hell not?
As they kick off their set with several arrangements from ‘Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band’, the mood is that of summertime blazing, cheerful reggae with energized horn parts chirping up with stylish syncopation, and to top it all off they’re playing Beatles songs! The thoughtful arrangement of these songs comes from Michael Goldwasser, who himself plays on the records and has certainly ‘stirred it up’.
Continuing their jiving set they move on to play songs from ‘The Dub Side of the Moon’, with in my opinion a little too much sunlight creeping into the likes of ‘Money’, but they deliver it without apology. They’re not afraid to take the risk and that shows in their performance.
There was a small appearance from their new album ‘Dubber Side of the Moon’, but they kept the good vibes with tasters from ‘Radiodread’ and a superb encore of ‘Redemption Song’.
There is an essential ingredient to this gig I have left out, not because it’s easily forgotten but because these people work out of sight, and out of sight is out of mind, but I want to add extra credit to these magic makers and praise the sound guys, from the alien spaceship that is the sound-desk. These were some real geniuses of blending the reggae staccato with the psychedelic wavy echoing. As we all know, Beatles music or that of Pink Floyd requires massive attention to the sound waves and effects that create each respective bands sound. These guys delivered and to them I say thank-you. A dub filled evening that really shows the Easy Star All-Stars as the fearless force they are.