BRINGING the Jamaican sunshine with him, reggae legend Toots Hibbert lit up the O2 Academy tonight. The sun shines on the righteous and Toots has more than paid his dues.

At 76, he can still work the crowd like a man a quarter of his age. His fully-committed performances are the stuff of legend and the reason why the Bournemouth audience is in high spirits for a Sunday night.

“Tonight. You are the pupil and I am the teacher,” he burred as he walked out on stage.

Toots and the band have a wealth of prime cuts to call on from over 50 years in the business. One of the true architects of reggae - indeed, the Maytals' 1968 single Do the Reggay is widely credited with giving the genre its name (as a band member tells us).

The set-list is peppered with these big hits as you’d expect, but there’s also time for the slower numbers like Take Me Home, Country Roads and a glorious diversion into gospel. The soaring ceiling of the former opera house providing the perfect backdrop to these spiritual moments.

This more thoughtful, slow-burn approach makes the audience even more excited when Toots unleashes Sweet and Dandy, Louie Louie and Funky Kingston. When these come, they hit hard and the dancefloor descends into a skanking free-for-all of ageing skinheads, students and the casual observer.

“You want it?” he goads the crowd.

Hands are now ecstatically pumping the air and Toots is in full control. Everyone moves along to Pressure Drop and Monkey Man, while the band throw bottles of water out to the sweaty crowd.

“The management have said we must stop, but we say no,” beams Toots as he returns for the encore.

It can only end with 54-46 Was My Number and that irresistible bassline vibrating through the fabric of the very building. There follows a flowing jam session that promises to extend the show long into the night.

Like a reggae Ken Dodd, Toots will keep performing until the last audience member has stopped dancing. Tonight is indeed a lesson in reggae.

Pure happiness is delivered raw to the bone and served from the man who invented it. Everything is right in the world after an evening with Toots and The Maytals.