Entertainment

Wailing down Europe

Sunday, August 24, 2014    

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ROOTS legend Bunny Wailer broke new ground on his recent European tour which he used to salute the evolution of reggae music.

Wailer, 67, and his Solomonic Reggaestra performed for the first time in Ireland and at major festivals such as Reggae Sun Ska in Bordeaux, France and Reggae Geel in Belgium.

It was Wailer's first European tour in four years. He says it was significant, as it took place 50 years after the Wailing Wailers recorded Simmer Down, one of the group's early hit songs.

Wailer was pleased with the three-week tour which started in June with two dates in Sweden.

"They (fans) indicated to me how well they knew my catalogue of hits from The Wailers to the Blackheart Man. It was a very energising and special time," he told the Sunday Observer, adding that many of the audiences covered three generations.

According to Wailer, it was a far cry from Jamaica where the youth seem oblivious of the achievements of 'foundation' artistes.

"They all acknowledged the music by singing along," he said.

Wailer is looking forward to a college lecture tour to mark another Wailers milestone.

"It's acknowledging The Wailers Catch A Fire tour, which is our first tour to the Polytechnic colleges (in the United Kingdom) in 1973. I see it as important to not just sing but to have an opportunity to set the record straight about these 50 years of our music and The Wailers," he said.

Wailer (born Neville Livingston) was an original member of the Wailers which also included Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. He and Tosh left the group for solo careers in 1973.

— Cecelia Campbell-Livingston

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