Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert is better known as “Toots”, and with his iconic band The Maytals, is part of music history – still going strong at 75-years-old. Toots and the Maytals are back in the UK for a full tour this Autumn.
But before that they headline a special one night only gig inside Alexandra Palace in London. The September 8th party, also features The Beat with Dave Wakeling, Lee Scratch Perry, Pama International, Don Letts and Trojan Sound System with former Specials member Neville Staple.
The UK tour in October offers 11 opportunities to catch Toots and the legendary band in action, kicking off with a show in Birmingham on 10th October and closing the tour in Frome, Somerset on 27th.
The Jamaican singer and songwriter was out of action for up to two years with serious injuries, after he was hit in the head with a Vodka bottle, thrown from the crowd onto the stage as Toots and the Maytals performed as part of a festival in the US in May 2013.
Film footage captured the moment and police were able to identify the culprit and arrest him. The man was charged with malicious wounding, but he pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Amazingly, Toots Hibbert write to the judge in the case, pleading in a letter not to jail him. “He is a young man, and I have heard what happens to young men in jail. My own pain and suffering would be increased substantially knowing that this young man would face that prospect,” he wrote.
But the judge sentenced the man to a six-month sentence. It was a long road to recovery for Toots, but he got back on the road and began touring internationally again.
Toots and The Maytals are said to be the first group to mention the word “reggae” in a song, ‘Do The Reggay’.
Their many hits include ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘54-46 (That’s My Number)’, ‘Sweet and Dandy’, ‘Monkey Man’, ‘Funky Kingston’ and ‘Reggae Got Soul’. Amy Winhouse did a celebrated cover of ‘Monkey Man’, as did The Clash.
Across six decades, Toots’ raw, gospel-infused vocals and life-affirming music has influenced countless artists, including The Specials, The Clash and Amy Winehouse, and has toured with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow and Los Lonely Boys.
A five-time Grammy nominee, Toots & The Maytals won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Reggae album with True Love.
The album featured re-recorded classic hits alongside popular and legendary artists, including Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, No Doubt, Ben Harper, The Roots and Shaggy.
They were last here in May 2017, on arena shows with The Specials.
On previous tours here, it was not usual for the likes of Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards to turn up and jam with him on stage. Looking forward to his return to the UK, Toots said:
“The UK is a home from home for Toots and The Maytals, so we’re looking forward to seeing all our friends during our tour. To bring joy with my music is my greatest aspiration. We give 100 percent every night, and our fans give us that energy right back every time.”
Tickets for the tour here:
Fri 12 Newcastle Boilershop http://www.welovewhq.com/events
Sat 13 Leeds O2 Academy http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk
Fri 19 Manchester Academy http://www.manchesteracademy.net
Sat 27 Frome Cheese & Grain http://www.cheeseandgrain.com
Toots Hibbert photo (Junction 10 logo): Jason Sheldon