A small venue behind The Fleming Arms Pub in Mansbridge seems like an unlikely place for legendary reggae singer Bob Marley to perform, but that’s exactly what happened 51 years ago.

On Saturday, February 17, a documentary examining Bob Marley’s special relationship to Britain – When Bob Marley Came to Britain – aired on BBC 4.

Though it’s notable for covering Marely’s many iconic performances in London and the friendships he made, the documentary also features a segment showcasing when Marley’s band The Wailers performed in Southampton during their UK tour in 1973.

Speaking on the documentary, Steve Gladders, a former DJ, reminisces about the time he booked Bob Marley to perform at The Coach House Club in Southampton.

Daily Echo: The Fleming ArmsThe Fleming Arms

He said: “As a DJ in 1973, I booked Bob Marley and The Wailers to appear at our small club in Southampton.

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“It was at the back of The Fleming Arms. It was just by accident, I literally walked into the office of the booking agent and said ‘look, we have some dates to fill, do you have anything?’

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“He did mention that there was this band called The Wailers, that he knew nothing about and could we fill the slot.”

Steve added: “Even on the night of the gig we had an advert in the local paper and we misspelt their name, as in ‘whalers’ – people that go and catch whales – rather than ‘wailers’ – people that wail!”

Melton Geddes was one of the lucking few fans of The Wailers who got to see Bob Marley live that night in 1973.

He said: “I remember at one point we were so pushed-up that I lifted one foot up and when I put it back down, I was stood on someone else!

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“He’s a prophet, if you listen to any Marley song and you’re not influenced, something is wrong with you.”

Looking back on the now historic performance, Steve said: “The atmosphere was just electric, absolutely electric, it was mesmerising.

“It was almost as if they pumped some ganja into the air conditioning and got everybody high!”