On the 26th of October is for the very first time the Jamaican reggae band The Gladiators coming! Their history is going back to 1965, where they started in the legendary Studio One. They have released more than 40 albums and their latest album Back On Track was just released last year, with the new front man Droop Lion. The Gladiators are one of the most legendary Jamaican reggae bands, better don’t miss the Czech premiere.
The Gladiators are in the arena since 1965, when Albert Griffiths formed the band of which the name was suggested in a bus by a passenger that had just seen the movie Ben Hur. The idea of these men that fought for their freedom, just like fighting against Babylon, seduced immediately the rastas and stick besides again today to the hardness of Jamaïca.
This is the period they had their first hit « Hello Carol » and they established their name on the local market, from this start they produced songs that will become as much classics such as « Roots Natty » or « Bongo Red » and in the same time Albert Griffiths installed himself as session musician in the great Studio One and played for the artists recording in Jamaica as The Ethiopians , Burning Spear, Mighty Diamonds or John Holt.
In 1976 their career became international with the signature on Virgin Records of the legendary Trenchtown Mix Up that compiles most of their best songs (Bongo Red becomes for example Mix Up). During some years the GLADIATORS shared the top of the bill in the reggae scene with artists as U-Roy, Aswad or Toots & the Maytals and produced several albums but in the early 80’s two major events showed the beginning of a black period. The last album with Virgin was produced and remixed to their unawareness by Eddy Grant in a too commercial spirit and that failed the discredit lives-to-live of them fan base.
Next the death of Bob Marley in 1981 created such a shock in the world of the reggae a lot of record companies took advantage to rid of their artists the less flexible on compromise with their music and the GLADIATORS were among those.
But even if recording side was poor, changing from a company to the next one they continued to write big classics of the roots reggae and to tour through the world, always giving the best of themselves on stage and proving that they are without doubt one of the first real Roots Rock Reggae band.
For example Albert Griffiths always lived in the country, in the hills of St Elizabeth where he was born and where he feels the vibrations of deep Jamaica, far from tumult of Kingston. And this is this type warm and sincere mood brawl to the energy that they develop on scene you can rediscover on their last CDs, from « Something a gwaan » in 2000 or “Once upon a time in Jamaica” in 2002 also recorded at Tuff Gong to “Father and sons” recorded at Anchor studio in Kingston-Jamaica which was released with his sons: Al and Anthony, singing and drums. It was the 2004’s tour music where Albert Griffiths says goodbye to his fans. It is his final album.
Even if Albert Griffiths is now retired in St Elizabeth the legend is still on. For a couple of years his son Al kept spreading Gladiators music, he impressed as looking as his father on stage with the original band, but now the band decided to take a new start adding a young promising singer called Droop Lion who is going to release a new album with the original members of The Gladiators.
If you like roots reggae such as Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Max Romeo or The Congos, you should not miss the legendary Gladiators. On Monday, 26th of October, they will celebrate, as one of 20 concerts, the 20th anniversary of the Lucerna Music Bar.
If you want to go also to the concert of Junior Kelly on the 10.11., you can get a special deal: the Reggae Harvest Comboticket for 800 CZK (+fee), you save 100 CZK.