ob Marley had a special relationship with London, the city he once described as his “second base”. It was the site of some of his most legendary concerts; his studios recorded some of his most brilliant music; provided shelter when in trouble abroad; and she lovingly wove her music into her own cultural fabric, still felt today.
Earlier this month, a new exhibition celebrating Marley’s legacy opened at the Saatchi Gallery, and our reviewer did a brilliant five-star review. As the first port of call, make time to go down and see the show for yourself. And if, after that, you’re still hungry for more Marley, make the pilgrimage to these places in London, each of which has its own connection to the late and great icon.
Mural at Brockley Barge Pub
One way or another, Brockley has had its own artistic homage to Bob Marley for nearly half a century, though they haven’t come without a fight. The first mural, painted by an unknown artist in the 1970s, lasted more than 40 years, adorning a wall outside the Brockley MOT Center on Coulgate Street, but was unceremoniously demolished in 2014 to make way for apartments. A crowdfunding campaign raised funds to replace him, however, with commissioned by street artist Dale Grimshaw to create a new mural, which now illuminates the exterior of the Brockley Barge pub (although it is sometimes partially obscured by recycling bins).
Crystal Palace Bowl
Marley played her first concert in London with the Wailers in 1973 at the Speakeasy Club on Margaret Street, near Oxford Circus, and according to those present, the four-night run was a revelation. The place, unfortunately, is no longer among us; it’s now a nightclub, temporarily closed, so you might not be able to visit even if you wanted to. A much better option would be to attend a concert at the newly renovated Crystal Palace Bowl, the site of Marley’s latest and greatest show in London, with a Redemption Song show, which was only played once in the capital, between highlights of the night. .
“If you want to meet me, you’ll have to play football against me and the Wailers.” This is the famous quote attributed to Marley who, by all accounts, was absolutely crazy about football. His loyalty to the club was split between Santos in Brazil and Tottenham Hotspur in the United Kingdom (sorry, Arsenal fans). Marley tried to put on an impromptu game at any given opportunity, and spending much of his time in west London, Battersea Park was often his favorite place. So he gathers a group of classmates, downstairs, and pays homage to Marley with a good old kick.
Their London homes
In 1976, Marley fled Jamaica after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt and found refuge in London. He and the Wailers moved to Chelsea and settled at 42 Oakley Street, where they put the finishing touches on Exodus, the album that included some of their favorite tracks, from Jamming to Three Little Birds. Head to today’s address and you’ll see a blue plaque commemorating it, as you will see in another of his former residences, 34 Ridgmount Gardens, near Goodge Street, this time placed by the mayor. of London and the Nubian Jak Community Trust.
Get up and stand up! at the Teatre Líric
The exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery is not the only major cultural celebration of Marley taking place in the capital at the moment. Shaftesbury Avenue Lyric Theater is home to Get Up, Stand Up !, which tells the story of Marley’s life and work in musical form. With a spectacular central performance by Arinzé Kene as Marley, critics of the Standard described it as “an important and important cultural event”. Tickets are now on sale – a must-see for any Marley obsessive.