mon 01/06/2020

Toots and the Maytals, Academy, Islington | reviews, news & interviews

Toots and the Maytals, Academy, Islington

Toots and the Maytals, Academy, Islington

A late, brief and frustrating show from the reggae legend

Smiley, bouncy, but the voice is not what it used to be: Toots Hibbert
The Academy was heaving, the floor was so sticky with beer that lifting one’s feet was an effort, and the crowd were beginning to lose patience. Frederick “Toots” Hibbert and the Maytals were late; a 9pm start for this London show was scheduled, but the appointed hour had come and gone, the minutes were ticking by, and the DJ’s efforts to keep us entertained with a string of ska and reggae classics were beginning to fall on stony ground. There was even some booing. Had it not been for the blast of cold air from the super-efficient air conditioning system that kept things chilled, tempers would almost certainly have begun to fray.

The Academy was heaving, the floor was so sticky with beer that lifting one’s feet was an effort, and the crowd were beginning to lose patience. Frederick “Toots” Hibbert and the Maytals were late; a 9pm start for this London show was scheduled, but the appointed hour had come and gone, the minutes were ticking by, and the DJ’s efforts to keep us entertained with a string of ska and reggae classics were beginning to fall on stony ground. There was even some booing. Had it not been for the blast of cold air from the super-efficient air conditioning system that kept things chilled, tempers would almost certainly have begun to fray.

Much of the rest of the show was filled with a sort of aural padding, a drifty nothingness of lame tippy-tap rhythms

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