Tonight I saw thirty two year old K'Naan perform at The Hoxton Kitchen about ten minutes from my home in East London. He was brilliant. People speak of his similarity to Bob Marley which made me think of The One Love Peace Concert. If K'Naan can get close to this experience then the comparison will match.
The One Love Peace concert is the greatest concert in the history of reggae music. Gun running street battles dominated the elections in Jamaica and the concert was both a call for peace and a homecoming for Bob Marley. The people flocked from all sides of the political spectrum. In the early hours of morning as he danced on stage like a man possessed in the balmy heat under the midnight sky thunder broke and lightning struck. Electricity. As if taken by the spirits Marley raised his hand and called out
“Well, I'm trying to say, could we have, could we have, up here onstage here the presence of Mr. Michael Manley and Mr. Edward Seaga. I just want to shake hands and show the people that we're gonna make it right, we're gonna unite, we're gonna make it right, we've got to unite . The moon is high over my head, and I give my love instead.”
And they walked onto stage like moths drawn to the light and they shook each others hand with marley's in the middle. It is an historic moment in the politics and culture of Jamaica. Marley united the warring factions through the power of reggae and his faith. The stone that the builder refused became the head corner stone. The next time the trio meet is three years later at his funeral. Bob died of Cancer in 1981 at 37 years of age.