Bob Marley and the Wailers Leeds University Refectory June 1976

Bob Marley and the Wailers Leeds University Refectory June 1976
bobmarley This was the red hot summer of 1976 and Bob Marley was big news. “No Woman, No Cry” had hit the charts, and his legendary 1975 show at the Lyceum was a massive success which received rave reviews in the rock press. Leeds University was the nearest gig to the North East of England on Bob Marley’s 1976 tour, but it had been sold out for weeks in advance, and I didn’t have a ticket. Marie and I decided to drive down to Leeds on the off chance of buying a couple of tickets outside. We arrived early and joined crowds of people sitting on the grass and in the union bar, waiting for the doors to open. I wandered around asking if anyone had any spare tickets and eventually managed to buy a couple of from a guy in a nearby pub (I think it may have been the Packhorse?). I paid a little more than face value. The Union refectory was completely packed to the walls for the gig, and it was so hot and sweaty in that hall that night. I wasn’t that familiar with Bob Marley’s material at the time, but I do remember recognising “I Shot the Sheriff”, “No Woman, No Cry” and “Get Up, Stand Up”. At this time the Wailers featured Family Man, Junior Marvin, and the I-Threes with Rita Marley. I remember finding it a very different sort of concert to the rock gigs that I was used to at the time. In particular, the music was much quieter, and the reggae beats and rhythms were so relentless, and had everyone dancing. The dreadlocks, the rastafarian dress, the I-Threes in their robes; this was all so new to me. A world away from heavy rock, and punk was yet to really emerge. A strong smell of dope hung in the air. Bob Marley seemed so natural and unassuming on stage, yet there was a quiet charisma about him. You just knew that he meant every word he sang. A great gig. Possibly one of the best I have been to, and another that I wish I could live again. Setlist: Trenchtown Rock; Them Belly Full (But We Hungry); Rebel Music (3 O’Clock Roadblock); I Shot the Sheriff; Crazy Baldhead; Want More; No Woman, No Cry; Lively Up Yourself; Roots, Rock, Reggae; Positive Vibration; Rat Race; War; No More Trouble; Get Up, Stand Up.

16 responses to this post.

  1. Hi! Did you recorded the concert?


  2. Posted by colin ibitson on July 4, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    i was there,still the best gig i have ever been to.


  3. best gig i have ever been to


  4. Posted by fredreggaelover on November 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    is there any document about this concert in the like of photos ? ticket ? how lucky you was 🙂 congrats 🙂 1 love


  5. I was also there – There were two nights if I remember rightly.
    One of the best ever. Hot as hell. Utterly high!


  6. Posted by Amanda on September 5, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    I was there too. Enthralling, inspiring, energising, fabulous. So hot you almost stuck to the person next to you. Best gig ever. Happy days. 😊


    • Posted by vintagerock on September 6, 2020 at 11:32 am

      Happy days indeed Amanda a great red hot summer when I saw so many great bands the Rolling Stones at the Knebworth Festival was equally hot happy happy days but we still have the memories cheers Peter


  7. I was there! 🙂
    It stays in the mind as a major highlight of the thousands of gigs I’ve been to….


  8. Posted by Pete Johnson on June 25, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    This was my first proper gig, I travelled from Hull to see Marley. He had been ‘bigged up’ in the NME and so 4 of us got tickets, I can’t remember how.

    My memory of the venue is that it was small, crowded, atmospheric and with the smell of various substances drifting across in front of me. It was wonderful.

    The set was long but really enjoyable. I’ve never seen anything like it since despite having been to many gigs. 45 years on it’s a great memory and when I hear ‘No Woman No Cry’ it always reminds me of my trip to Leeds Uni. I’m not really a reggae fan but this night was top quality and made me a fan for life.

    Cheers Bob


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