Easy Star All-Stars
Concorde 2, Brighton
16 November 2012

Bringing their reggae reworkings of ‘classic’ pop songs to Brighton Easy Star All-Stars play to a happy crowd.

A packed house at Concorde 2 for the Easy Star All-Stars gig tonight and my only complaint is that due to a club night afterwards the proceedings started at 19pm and when I arrived at 20.30 the band had just taken the stage. Ten o’clock curfews on gigs are not a good idea.

Easy Star All-Stars are touring to promote the Thriller album in which they turn Michael Jackson’s Pop classic into a reggae festival…and it works (read the LTW review of the album here)! They have done the same before with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon , The Beatle’s Sgt .Pepper and Radiohead’s OK Computer and the surprise is that they all translate perfectly to the reggae genre.

Frontman and bass player Ticklah brings a colourful edge to proceedings and his bass playing is brilliant throughout – a real booming bass a la J.J. Burnel. The band also swap vocals between members with ease, guitar player Michael G handling his fair share of vocal duties.

The band play a great cross section of their back catalogue. Stand outs include a great version of Thriller, Billie Jean, and The Girl Is Mine – all from from Thrillah;  Money and The Great Gig In The Sky from Dub Side Of The Moon; and With A Little Help From My Friends from Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band. They mix the covers in with a number of originals and for two hours they put on a really enjoyable set.

As I pointed out earlier the surprise is that these tunes all translate perfectly to reggae beats and with the addition of a brilliant horn section get the crowd dancing and singing along to every song.

Another surprise is the age range of people here tonight. From 16-60 and everybody was having a great time but I did wonder how many of the younger punters knew the originals and how many thought it was all original group compositions .

At the end of the night everybody had a really good time and I for one am looking forward to the next tour. Great gig.

All words by Simon Kvalheim. You can read more from Simon on LTW here.

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