Reggae has to be one of the most reliable forms of music there is.
If that’s a polite way of saying it all sounds the same, that’s not such a bad thing.
Nine times out of ten though, if you go to a reggae gig you pretty much know what to expect.
Frederick “Toots” Hibbert takes all those expectations, tears them up and then dances on them.
If you looked the Jamaican legend up in a music shop, he would probably be filed under reggae but there’s much more to him than that.
He has far more in common with Otis Redding and even showed touches of the great James Brown during his storming set at the Academy.
For nearly two hours the 65-year-old put performers a third of his age to shame with a high-energy show that could have gone on all night.
It didn’t get off to the best of starts though, as his daughter Leba Thomas performed some very ropey rubber soul songs as a warm-up to the main event.
Fortunately this didn’t last long, and the crowd erupted when Toots came on stage to kick off the gig proper.
Dressed all in white save for a black do-rag and matching, wrestler-style arm bands, Toots quickly set the tone for the rest of the night.
After an opening Get Up, Stand Up (not that one) he played Do the Reggay. Slow to start but with an up-tempo finish was the pattern for nearly every song after, and the crowd loved it.
A diverse set list took in the Richard Berry classic Louie Louie” and the less likely Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver.
Sadly we weren’t treated to Toots’ rather brilliant cover of Let Down from Radiohead’s OK Computer album, but with a performance this good it’s hard to complain.
Monkey man unsurprisingly saw the biggest roar of approval from the audience, who nearly brought the house down with calls for an encore.