Review: The Jolly Boys, The 100 Club London

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The sheer joy of a septuagenarian Jamaican rocking a red suit, belting out classic tunes mento-style and dropping the occasional James Brown-style “huh!” cannot be fully expressed in words. Just smiles, laughter and applause which are heaped on The Jolly Boys by the sell-out crowd at esteemed venue The 100 Club on Oxford Street.

With a changing lineup over six decades, the Port Antonio mento band are experiencing a revival after hooking up with Jon Baker (Gee Street Records) and Mark Jones (Wall of Sound) in 2009 who introduced a repertoire of pop and rock tunes to bring the mento sound bang up to date. The feel-good, retro vibe has been a hit at Secret Garden party and Camp Bestival and was well received this weekend at Big Chill.