Preveiw: The Wailers at the Vogue

Reggae Legends the Wailers to play Indy’s Vogue Theater on January 28th.

Most bands break up and go their separate ways after their frontman/woman buys the farm. There are exceptions of course, like Joy Division becoming New Order after Ian Curtis’s suicide. There are also exceptions like the Wailers, who have kept both the name and the sound in the wake of Bob Marley’s passing. Hey, why change a successful brand? Anyway, they’re playing Vogue on the 28th.

A Brief History

The first version of the Wailers appeared alongside Bob Marley back in 1963. They went through several different names, including the Teenagers and the Wailing Rudeboys, before settling on just the Wailers. The initial lineup was Bob Marley, Junior Braithwaite, Neville Livingston, and Peter Tosh. Oh, amusing side note, despite later gaining fame as a singer, Marley was not the band’s vocalist. Junior Braithwaite had that job. Anyway, like the name, the Wailer’s lineup was also frequently subject to change. Longtime member and current band leader Familyman Barrett, for example, came from a studio band. The original Wailers broke up in 1974 over Tosh and Livingston’s refusal to play what they called “freak clubs”. Which meant places whose practices clashed with their Rastafarian beliefs. Barrett and his brother Carleton subsequently gained more prominence in the band. After Bob Marley’s death from melanoma in 1981, the band continued on.

Their Sound

Why, only the blend of reggae, ska, and rocksteady prescribed by Dr. Marely himself. With it’s distinctive rhythm and often humorous, but socially-conscious, lyrics , reggae is an enduring symbol of Jamaica. In fact, given how very instrumental the Wailers were in popularizing reggae, just think of a reggae song you know. It’s more than likely Bob Marley and the Wailers performed it.

So, as always. The venue is the Vogue, door’s at 8:00.

See you there!


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