Ska-Line A Round Up Of The Global Ska News 11th April 2021
Morning all - first off, today is the birthday of the Original Rude Boy, Dr Neville Staple. Neville Staple found fame with the Specials lending his memorable toasting to the legendary 2 Tone band. Originally a roadie with the Coventry Automatics, he soon became a defining part of their sound - Bernie Rhodes Knows Don't Argue was the first voice we heard on 2-Tone!
After the band separated, he went on to be part of Fun Boy 3 and then Special Beat. He now fronts his own band '' and tours prolifically - pretty good for 65. Bless up sir.
BDR news - we have secured further licenses for Portugal, Panama, Uruguay and Paraguay and are over half way funded!
The Mighty Mighty BossTones thrilled us with their 3rd release of the year The Killing Of Georgie (Part 3), taken from the forthcoming album 'When God Was Great' which releases May 3rd on Tim Armstrong's Hellcat Records. A mid paced track which wouldn't sound out of place on Question the Answers.
American ska/pop/punk outfit Bite Me Bambi brought their infectious bubblegum skanking sound to the fore this week with their fantastic tune 'Like That'.
Upbeat and damned catchy with a vocal reminiscent of Imelda May - twinned with a really entertaining video - this is the whole package.
Slowing things down a little - The Magnetics, operating out of Milan in Italy comes their next single - Love of My Life a cover of the Queen classic.
We originally heard this on the Blockbuster compilation by The Specialized Project. Olly's smoky voice does this so well and changes this rock ballad to a beautiful rocksteady song. Excellent job.
Next up is Germany's The Plectones who are gathering a following now. They released Variety, a song reflecting a year of lockdowns. The vocal delivery has a Mark Foggo style and the music reflects this most unusual of years.
What else? Oh Yeah! Smoke and Mirrors Sound System sent us a demo of their new album! SAMSS is a super band formed during lockdown by way of an international collaboration (members include Mike Park, Ali Culotta (Stop The Presses), Korey Horn (Aggrolites, Hepcat, Tim Armstrong), Lady Hatchett (Scotch Bonnets), Jeremy Peña (The Bandulus), the legendary Victor Rice...) the brainchild of John Roy (Spy Kids / Unsteady) brought us the fantastic Strength in Numbers album (if you don't have it, you really should - check it out at https://smokeandmirrorssoundsystem.bandcamp.com/album/strength-in-numbers ) and now we are to be treated to some ska / rocksteady covers of some 80s classics like: Visage's Fade Away, Tears for Fears Mad World and our favourite - Echo and the Bunnymen's Killing Moon which we have the world exclusive for and will be playing twice a day this week as a track in our Featured This Week sessions. They blend traditional ska sounds with the new romantic sound sublimely. The familiarity of the songs blended with super smooth ska rhythms is like putting on a well worn pair of Docs. Due to be released later this year - something to look out for.
New label to us is the Skacore Cartel - this is a bit of a misnomer really. Yes they do have a decent amount of the harder side of ska but some sweet sounding rocksteady too! Based in California's LA, The Skacore Cartel are a collective with a mission statement to bring music and community together. Most releases so far are benefits for things like bail funds for protesters, Stop Asian Hate and ACLU for civil rights. Okay, so their heart's in the right place - what about the music?
First up we have a relatively new outfit - Trinidad Suave. Ska band based out of South Central LA. Trinidad Suave focuses on Ska and Ska-punk with Kevin on rhythm guitar, Jesse on lead guitar, Kram on the drums, and Bocer on Bass ! They have an EP entitled Puras Fallas. A 4 track street ska release with a 3rd wave feel with a dose of Op Ivy spirit in there. DUI has a harder and better produced feel, but our jewel in the Crown has to be Doña Culebra - their most accomplished release to date. High energy with a Rancid style feel and a killer horn section.
They also have 3 compilations featuring the likes of Catbite, Kill Lincoln, Flying Raccoon Suit, Blanco Y Negro and a host of new bands to get your teeth into!
Next... well he's at it again! Brad 'The Manor' Turner releases another corker from his CAF Studios. This time a beautiful piece of lovers rock / rocksteady in collaboration with the sultry voice of the Isle of Wight's Lee-Lee Reid. Just a joyful bit of sunshine to drip through your speakers. Beautiful song.
We have been privvy to potentially our favourite new sound of the year but warning... it's not for the faint hearted. Born from the ashes of Beat The Red Light is High Wycombe's (my ancestral hometown!) Redeemon.
They can only be described as ska metal or is it metal ska? Anyhow - it's loud, it's heavy, it's... catchy as hell! The only comparisons I can make are: August Burns Red meets System of a Down meets Voodoo Glow Skulls (well they do have a VGS in the recording band). Check out this awesome live performance of Anaphylactic at the legendary New Inn from the big smoke
WOOOOOOAH! A little bit addicted to this right now and is fast becoming my skate hype track before a session. Their 5 track EP is set to be released soon on Pookout Records. Eagle eared listeners may recognise them from What Do You Think You Know About Ska Punk Vol 4 where they unleashed Finest Mistakes which is heavier than Jupiter!
A new section to www.buttondownradio.com and fast becoming our most listened to section of the week is All Request Friday Evenings which (as you may have guessed) consists purely of tracks selected by our awesome listeners. You can request songs by dropping us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or going to our social media pages and messaging us. As long as it's ska or Northern Soul, we will probably play it (still struggle with RBF but y'know...)
This week we played:
Gloria Jones Tainted Love
Desmond Dekker King Of Ska
The Interrupters You're Gonna Find A Way Out
The Upsessions Rude Boy Hooligan (Bonus Track)
Amy Winehouse Monkey Man
Dandy Reggae in Your Jeggae
Stop the Presses Wasted Youth
The Pioneers Reggae Fever
Some Ska Band Forty Thieves
The Busters Melodies
Maroon Town Goodbye to the Empire
Skatuesques Back In The Day
Mark Foggo's Skasters Two Legs
Desmond Dekker & The Specials King of Ska
Mr.Review Another Town
The Skapones The Rolling Years
Jimmy Cliff Ruby Soho
Smoke and Mirrors Sound System lets dance 3 16 21 96bpm
The Communicators (feat. Rhoda Dakar) Guns of Navarone
M.V.P. Turnin' My Heartbeat Up
The Offspring What Happened To You?
The Upsetters Return of the Ugly
Dobie Gray Out On The Floor
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas No One There
BAD OPERATION Perilous
As well as our regular listeners, we have had requests from King Hammond, Paul Willo (Skapones/Specialized), Mark Foggo, Erin Bardwell... So get involved!
Don't forget to tune in and catch many of this week's songs in our Featured This Week Sessions:
Check out our Bandcamp collection at https://bandcamp.com/buttondownradio
Check out the best of this year's ska vids at - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmpaxFQpPPFyuFitZ2sjNGhGiYooA-Pen
And whatever you do... KEEP SKANKING and listening to Button Down Radio