Here you will find a review of this show by Mike Davies which was published in Melody Maker on July 1, 1978. Bob Marley and the Wailers were originally scheduled to play a date in London, however, plans had to be changed because a suitable venue wasn’t available. According to promoter Alec Leslie, some hall managers were worried about trouble at Marley concerts. It seems they still had memories of the few incidents at Hammersmith Odeon two years earlier, mostly involving pickpockets – even though there was no trouble at all when the band played at the Rainbow in July 1977.
In the 10 May 1978 issue of New Musical Express, the Bob Marley & The Wailers gig at the 8,000-capacity Stafford Bingley Hall on Thursday 22 June 1978 was announced. Tickets for the gig were all set at one price of £4.
However, according to accounts given by several individuals who attended the show, the concert was actually held at the County Showgrounds in Staffordshire.
In his review of the June 22nd show at Stafford Bingley Hall aptly titled ‘Babylon By Bus,’ Penny Reel describes a less than stellar evening:
“Between I and I, a writer’s relationship with his reader is a balance of equal power; the former dictates terms, but only at the latter’s discretion – where a page may be turned at any moment’s whim. In the presentation of this review, I might abuse this premise with the inclusion of any number of irrelevances. I could, for instance, recount that the three coaches detailed for the record company’s guests – press, photographers, and EMI reps – departed Island’s St Peter’s Square HQ at 5.30pm and, due to the inconsistencies of the rush hour tarffic, had crawled no further north than Watford some two hours on. To which would be added that only two of the these arrived at their destination; the third, the one carrying the hapless EMI reps, disgruntedly gave up the ghost.
And furthermore, those two that completed the journey only made it at the expense of Steel Pulse’s 40 minute set – leaving one cynical observer to remark that Island were, perhaps, releasing the Brum Klanners from their contract (No we’re not – Island Records) – and midway through Marley’s own stage act. Less than an hour later, it would be added, the same pair of charabancs were heading back to the capital for the small-hours disembarcation of their respective passengers…
I arrived midway through Bob’s performance of Heathen, and made my way backstage for the introduction of No Woman No Cry, Lively Up Yourself, Jamming, and by way of a single encore, Get Up Stand Up….This was followed by a brief chorus or two of Exodus/Punky Reggae Party to the self-absorbed posturing of the I Threes by way of extra farce, and the Natty One hopping offstage for the last time, leaving behind the voluminous cascade of applause….”