LIVE REVIEW: Natty & The Rebelship @ The Bodega

A 7 year hiatus and Natty is back!

Touring his new album ‘Release The Fear’ I was worried Natty would perform like I had seen him at Boomtown and Glastonbury previously. During these sets he seemed conceited and distracted.

But the Natty that danced on stage was an artist with renewed vigour and joviality. Playing tracks from his Top 20 debut album, ‘Man Like I’, Natty seemed to enjoy treating the crowd to old material. Retelling stories of the first love song he ever wrote, ‘Bedroom Eyes’ and the one written whilst on the run from the police, ‘Revolution’, I sensed the man had humbled in his time away.

After old time favourite, ‘July’, Natty mused on how it took him only half an hour to write. Contrasting this to ‘Street Lights’- seven years in the making – you can tell this record is the one he truly wanted and in essence needed to put out.

I think I misunderstood Natty when I mistook his confidence for arrogance. If he’s anything, he is true to his music. When I asked him why it had taken so long to write the second album, he replied:

“I’ve been living, I’ve been fighting off music industry people – I like music but I don’t like industry, (i’ve been) travelling, finding myself, finding inspiration. My first album was written in the first 22 years off my life and then the second album, you know… I could have put out three albums in this time that’s gone past. I’m not the type of man to change my principles and my morals or my behaviour based upon ever-whimsical demands of A & R man – the album had to come out how I wanted it to come out.”

Dubious as I was to start with, the show was a high energy celebration of Natty’s authentic blend of roots-reggae, soul music. I think you can tell he’s a lot happier in himself and the music is just as good as it ever was.





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