NATTY & THE REBEL SHIP | LIVE REVIEW
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, Tue 27 Nov
Soulful, wholesome, and spiritually conscious as ever, Natty returned to Clwb Ifor Bach with his band The Rebel Ship to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Man Like I. In order to celebrate appropriately, Natty and the band have been remixing old tracks and creating new ones for the Special 10th Anniversary Edition.
Although it’s been a decade since the release of this career-breaking album, watching them perform it feels like no time had passed. The crowd is filled with fans old, and new, from all walks of life, reflecting the oneness that Natty so openly encourages. The Rebel Ship take to the stage first, setting the tone for the evening beneath the green lighting, and Natty is soon introduced. “I told you I’d be back, didn’t I?” he laughs, smiling as if in the presence of old friends.
Opening with Cold Town, we’re blessed to hear that classic, upbeat Natty flow again: “When they say about brotherly love, come on and give a hoodie a hug.” The blend of his Caribbean heritage and London city upbringing is never lost. Natty and The Rebel Ship lead us through July – a firm reminder of summer 2008, which evidently evoked a wave of nostalgia amongst the dancing crowd. Natty’s face passionately lights up, as he allows the crowd to fill in the blanks.
We’re swiftly taken through One People and into Where’s The Answer, where Natty encourages us to look within ourselves for answers to our problems, as he jams out on stage. Between songs, we’re gently reminded to “give thanks for the ground we walk on”. Natty strums that notorious note that the crowd know so well, the beginning of Bedroom Eyes – another favourite from Man Like I, reminding many fans of drunken nights and young love.
As The Rebel Ship depart, Natty speaks to our souls with inspiring words to stay on course, and that although we might sometimes sway off track, it’s important to always get back on.
words SARAH MORGAN photos NICK WOTTON