Crystal Palace Bowl, venue where Bob Marley played his last and biggest London concert and debuted “Redemption Song”.


Crystal Palace Bowl, venue where Bob Marley played his last and biggest London concert and debuted "Redemption Song".

Date of Installation:
Location:Crystal Palace Bowl
Plaque: Blue

Bob Marley & The Wailers' Last And Biggest London Concert Is Marked With A Plaque At Crystal Palace Bowl

On June 7 1980, Bob Marley & The Wailers played what was to be their last, and said to their biggest, London concert at Crystal Palace Bowl. And it was also the first time London fans, some of whom were making their way home from the open air concert in the south London borough of Bromley, heard Bob Marley performing the unaccompanied last song of the night - 'Redemption Song'.

Last week, to mark the 40th anniversary of this historic concert, a Nubian Jak Community Trust blue plaque was unveiled on part of the steel-framed bandstand affectionately referred to by locals as the Rusty Laptop.

The plaque, which had the added feature of the Ethiopian/pan-African/Rastafari tri-colours painted on the edge, was officially unveiled by the Mayor of Bromley Cllr Hannah Grey, with special guests including Member of Parliament for Lewisham West & Penge Ellie Reeves, Crystal Palace Ward Councillor Angela Wilkins, Crystal Palace Park Trust Co-Chairs Phillip Kolvin QC and Martin Tempia, Friends of Crystal Palace Park representative Lucy Hopkins, and Nubian Jak CEO Jak Beula, in attendance.

Unlike last year's unveiling of a Nubian Jak plaque to the Wailers trio, Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, at the old Island recording studios in Ladbroke Grove, west London, where fans thronged across the neighbouring streets, this Wailers unveiling was an austere affair with just a handful of specially invited guests, due to present Covid-19 measures.

The plaque was the idea of the Friends Of Crystal Palace Park's effort to get the Bowl in shape as a major performance space. The initiative was supported by Bromley Council, The Crystal Palace Park Trust, BBM/BMC (BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress), and Marley' record company, Island Records UK, which made a financial contribution to the plaque crowd-funding campaign.

2020 is a particularly special year, as it marks the 40th anniversary of the said concert and the release of 'Redemption Song', the last song Marley performed on a London concert stage, and Marley75. The event also marks African History Month in the UK.

Unlike last October's unveiling where there was hot soup for the crowd, and the night ended with Wailers DJ sets at the near-by Mau Mau Bar, fans can check out photos of this month's unveiling ceremony, the history of the Bowl and the 1980 concert at https://www.crystalpalacebowl.com/bob-marley

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