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bob marley tribute


The feel-good music of Rastafarian reggae legend Bob Marley comes to the Guild Theatre as Centrestage presents Lively Up Yourself - A Tribute to Bob Marley from 28-31 August.

Audiences were given an exciting taste preview of the sing-and-stomp-along reggae party that awaits them in the Marley segment of The Magnificent 7 II – The Next Generation, which appeared recently at the Boardwalk venue.

Dynamic front-man and vocalist extraordinaire, Melvyn Matthews, sings in front of the fabulous Centrestage All-Star Band (CASB), who are joined once again by the brass ensemble The Centrestage Horny Section, headed up by Shaun Lyons.

Matthews, who draws on past experience as the original frontman for Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels, oozes charisma as he commands his audience to party like never before to the Kingston rhythms – and party they do!

Matthews turns the well-known reggae anthems, which have spiritual roots in themselves, into a near religious experience, as he infectiously gives his all while leading the celebrations in the mode of a new-age Pied Piper, thus is his conviction and hold over his audience.

The pairing of the powerful Matthews vocals with the ace CASB musical backup, makes a convincing combination, which is the reason that the Bob Marley segment proves so popular.

Musical director Donovan Hattingh once again takes painstaking care to ensure that the Wailer’s harmonies are recreated as faithfully as possible.

“Marley’s wife, Rita, who has just recently visited South Africa herself, is an unsung genius for the way she arranged the backing harmonies”, says Hattingh.

“When you listen carefully to the tricks and variations she employs, one cannot help but marvel at the complexity of this simple music. Only when all the pieces are in place does the unique Wailers sound suddenly come together”, he continues.

Much more adventurous, Matthews takes a less purist approach to the Marley material.

“I am a creative singer”, he says, “I sing from my heart – and often end up going in unexpected and unpredictable directions, depending on the mood and the vibe of the audience that night. No two performances are ever the same for me – and the band had better be on their toes! That is how I maintain my vitality and love of performing”, says Matthews.

The band is made up of stalwarts Gino Fabbri on drums, Wayne Kallis on guitar, Mike McAully on bass, Candy G on keys, with Donovan Hattingh swapping guitar for second keyboard from time to time.

The glamour department has Donna Africa and Lelanie Fourie in its ranks as the Wailers – and wail they certainly do too!

The audiovisual background textures which have become a Centrestage trademark are once again crafted by video maestro and drummer Fabbri’s brother, Marco Fabbri, while the superlative lighting effects are imported from Durban once again in the form of Mike Broderick.

Eternal classics such as No Woman No Cry, Buffalo Soldier, 3 Little Birds, Could You Be Loved, Redemption Song and One Love will have audiences singing, dancing and “feeling the love” like never before.

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