DREADLOCK HOLIDAY IN DEESIDE
Bob Marley, vocals, rhythm guitar
Aston Barrett, bass
Carlton Barrett, drums
Al Anderson, lead guitar
Junior Marvin, lead guitar
Earl Lindo, organ, clavinet
Tyrone Downie, keyboards
Alvin "Seeco" Patterson, percussion
The I-Threes, backing vocals
On July 12th 1980, Bob Marley and the Wailers performed live in front of 4,500 people at the Deeside Leisure Centre. The Deeside concert wasn’t actually in Chester, it was just across the border in Wales in a small town named Queensferry. The leisure centre was used primarily as an ice rink and was not on the music circuit, but was able to attract enough Marley fans to sell out. This was the second to last gig for Bob & The Wailers and the last UK show recorded.
Influential reggae drummer and percussionist Carlton Barrett performed at this gig, his rhythm style is woven into almost every recording the Wailers produced since 1969. Carlton was later murdered outside his home in Jamaica on April 17, 1987.
There was also a Gary Numan Concert at this venue on September 24, 1980
Archive review from the Chester Chronicle
If there's one thing that stands out about a Bob Marley concert, it's the vast repertoire of top material that he and his band can produce.
Although there were a couple of songs that failed to raise the roof at the Deeside Leisure Centre during Marley's recent performance, the audience were kept cheering, clapping and chanting for 90 per cent of the time as one Marley standard after another boomed from the stage.
The concert which drew a vast crowd of around 4,500 people, opened with Marley's band Tuff Gong Uprising backing the I Three's, Marley's own backing singers. Though they received loud applause, it was nothing to compare with the roar that greeted the man himself, dreadlocks flying, pinned by a white spotlight.
The set opened with Natural Mystic, instantly recognisable, before Marley went on to play some of his lesser-known stuff. For the first hour or so, things went well enough, but then came the opening chords of Jammin', and the whole place nearly took off. The concert simply lifted to a different plane. And that was followed by Exodus.
At this point, rather aptly, the band and Marley simply got up and walked off-stage. No had the slightest intention of letting them go, and 4, 500 voices shouting for more put the message across (as if Marley wasn't intending to come back anyway).
The second part of the set included classics like Natty Dread, No Woman No Cry, I Shot The Sheriff, all played with little or no chat in between.
The music was tight without being strictly bound to the album originals, proving if nothing else that Marley is a professional and that his musicians are men of imagination and flexibility, unlike some bands who use tours simple to put across, note for note, the stuff they put on the albums they want to promote.
Last number was a loose version of Get Up Stand Up with the obligatory singalong in the middle of it. Then it was spots off, house light on.
A.F. Chester Chronicle, July 1980.