Legend Live/Rebel Truce

The Picket, Jordan Street
14th August 2009

Reviewed by Matt Ford

The second night of Alun Parry's Working Class Music Festival saw performances from Rebel Truce and Legend Live - tribute acts to The Clash and Bob Marley respectively. The Picket is intimate, yet spacious enough to cater for a respectably sized audience, and thus proved a well-suited venue for the event, which gathered a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Rebel Truce were first onstage and the general atmosphere in the venue was surprisingly subdued at first, considering the compelling and heartfelt polemical thunder that The Clash conveyed. More people arrived as Rebel Truce's set progressed, and spirits were raised. By the end, the mood was fit for some 'revolution rock'. Led by Jerry - who managed to nail the late Joe Strummer's voice and mannerisms - the band performed superb renditions of many Clash favourites, although there was a distinct leaning towards the band's earlier hits, perhaps due to time restraints. For those of us not fortunate enough to have witnessed The Clash in their prime, Rebel Truce are as close as we're ever going to get to the spirit, passion and fire of the real thing.

Given reggae's profound influence on The Clash, it was fitting that Rebel Truce's set should be followed by two hours of Bob Marley. Birmingham-based Legend Live were fronted by Michael, whose Marley impression was so solid that even his speaking voice recalled the man himself, complete with Jamaican accent. The band claim that Michael evokes "the presence of Bob Marley himself". This, of course, is up to the individual to decide, but there is no denying the accuracy of his performance, and his ability to command the audience, who watched his every move throughout the show. Credit should also be given to the six other musicians onstage. Their relentless groove carried Marley's energising songs along, and kept the audience dancing. This provided a perfect end to the night as the Picket was filled with an unmistakable sense of optimism and solidarity, an ideal mood for a working class community struggling against adversity.

For more information on these artists, visit the following websites:

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