I often say to myself, Am I livin’ a righteous life?

misty in roots


I hate sport sometimes. Should’ve got on with this post, instead of watching the rugby.

Breathes deeply…

Well, I knew I’d be struggling to keep up with a run of four gigs in ten days, and true to form I’m a week late already…

The second date of my Spring bonanza came the day after the rough frenzy of the Sleaford Mods and involved a second trip down the motorway to the music capital of the West Country, my second favourite city, Brizzle. The venue this time was in the catacombs beneath Temple Meads, namely the Tunnels Club, an earnest little space which occasionally puts on some cracking evenings. Tonight “Misty in Roots, live and direct…”

Misty in Roots at The Tunnels Club

Any hopes of a heady evening in the company of serious dreads amid sweet-smelling clouds of ganja were predictably wide of the mark. A healthy looking hundred or so punters turned out, pretty much all of them white middle-aged guys such as myself, and were treated to an intense evening of warm, spiritual, grade A roots reggae from a gaggle of been-there, done-that and took-the-beatings real legends. A genuine privilege to be there.

By turns, shambling and then tight, the band wandered through a lengthy glowing set which touched on a number of high points from a 35 year career. Singer Delbert “Ngoni” Tyson led his troupe through the evening, and although he claimed at one point that he was just singing what he felt, beneath this disarming charm, there was a genuine discipline that playing together for most of your life will bring about.

It was a full, full sound too – massive bass, three piece brass section, nyabinghi drumming, edgy rhythm and lead guitars, spidery warm keyboards – a rootsy full house. As the band and the evening warmed up, the songs got longer, looser and began to splinter into dub styles. They were wonderful.

The recordings are quite good, although often marred by an enthusiastic white audience trying to sound like black folk and the age old problem of people who treat the band as a backdrop to their own conversations (one over-friendly stranger kept trying to start a conversation with me. Sorry mate); but, ho hum, such is the concert going experience these days….

Highlights were an extended, dubby Ghetto of the City, and intense, soulful versions of Jah See Jah Know and See Them ah Come. Enjoy them:

Ghetto of the City

Jah See Jah Know

See Them ah Come

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