Formed back in 1997 Easy Star All Stars have become well known for their reworks of legendary albums in their reggae/dub style, and have become hugely popular both on the tour and festival circuits throughout the world.
They have covered Radioheads OK Computer and the Beatles Sgt Pepper albums, but tonight it was all about their unique take on Pink Floyds epic Dark Side Of The Moon, which also tied in nicely with celebrating the fact that it’s 50 years since man walked on the moon.
And so it was that Easy Star All Stars visited the Brudenell in Leeds on the hottest day of the year so far to deliver the album in full and a few extras as well.
First up it was 90 minutes of reggae/dub tunes from DJ Dan The Hat, who warmed the venue up nicely and then at 9:00pm on strode Easy All Stars to a small stage for a lot of people and went straight into Jah Love which set the tone for the rest of the night with a their laid back style and sub bass sound booming across the room.
This was quickly followed by The Beatles ‘Lovely Rita’ which on the one hand shouldn’t work done in a reggae style, but it actually does.
Then it was straight into their reworking of Dark Side Of The Moon, an album which of course who have the slightest interest in music will be aware of. From the opening insistent drum beat of Speak to me/Breath through to the closing track Eclipse, this was an absolute master class and this reggae collective is clearly made up of genuinely high quality musicians.
‘Money’ and of course ‘Great Gig In The Sky’ were for me the highlights of this gig and showcased the power and precision of the band along with stunning vocals and harmonies throughout.
‘Us And Them’ became an epic workout with some great sax, trombone and keyboard workouts and left both the crowd and band exhausted in the near greenhouse conditions.
‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Eclipse’ brought the album to a close with and the vocal work especially on Brain Damage was yet another highlight of the gig.
And yet there was more …
The Michael Jackson standard PYT went down well with the capacity audience and for good measure they also covered a couple of Radiohead tunes in the shape of ‘Electioneering’ and ‘Karma Police’ which brought the evening to a close.
It would be very easy for a band like this to become just yet another run of the mill tribute band, of which there are already far too many. But in the case of Easy All Stars, their take on massively popular albums and tracks is quite unique, and let’s be honest, if reggae doesn’t get you moving and put a smile on your face, then it’s time to pack up and go home.
This band can’t fail to get your feet moving and make you smile, if you get a chance to go see them make sure you take it.
I’m sure Pink Floyd, Radiohead and The Beatles would approve!