Ska-Line A Round Up Of The Global Ska News 28th March 2021
Morning everyone - in the week that we celebrated the life of Ranking Roger, we get treated to the new single by Ranking Junior. Like Fly The Flag, it is another moving tribute to the great and much missed Roger Charley.
This time he has teamed up with The Ordinary Boys - an interesting choice but it works. It gives a different feel to The Beat sound that we are used to but had me in bits the first time I heard it. The B side is Jump and Skank and has a more 'The Beat' feel to it. Preston sounds pretty good on this.
Next up is a little project by Erin Bardwell (Erin Bardwell Collective, Skanxters, Pop-A-Top Records). Now we have already been treated to a solo album earlier in the pandemic and the extended lockdowns have given Erin the opportunity to record a project called Get Organ-Ised. This is an 8 track album that is laced with intrigue and a 60s / 70s styled sound coupled with a More Specials vibe.
Not only do we get this fantastic collection of tunes (The CD and poster has already sold out!) but Erin also set the music to a short film. A really entertaining piece and just shows how creative Erin is. Get the digital album from https://erinbardwellcollective.bandcamp.com/album/get-organ-ised
(the whole digital discography is available for 50% off!)
Crusty punk skankers Culture Shock (see Citizen Fish / Subhumans) have released their latest album 'Mandemic' on Bluurg records. I believe this is their 6th release and possibly their best since the seminal Onwards and Upwards.
9 solid tracks with a more reggae/ska vibe than the last two releases this is a clear sighted view of the world at the moment. Stand out track to us is War On Senses which was released as a single at the end of 2020, but each one has its merits. They describe it as 'Recorded in the available moments between lockdowns and largely never played live, these songs are fresh and bouncy, fired up and angry, solid and spikey - both a reflection of and an antidote to the current times.' Go get it at https://cultureshockuk.bandcamp.com/album/mandemic (20% off entire digital catalogue)
The one man music machine Brad 'The Manor' Turner IS AT IT AGAIN! This time he has teamed up with the legendary Symarip frontman Monty Neysmith to record Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. This is a very cool boss reggae track which is slightly more uptempo than Brad's usual reggae heavy stuff. The king of collaboration has worked on this release with SKABONE STAN - TROMBONE, ANDREW LONGFIELD - SAX, JOHN HARLEY - TRUMPET, BACKING VOCALS - GILLIAN JACK. Top job.
Off to Mexico City now for the latest single from Girls Go Ska. If you've not caught them yet, you should. They describe themselves as 'Six witches and a poet making ska and reggae' and they produce a pretty damn fine sound. The new single is entitled La Tierra (or The Earth) and the video dropped this morning. Sung in Mexican, it has a great melody and a smooth rocksteady feel. The perfect song for the start of British Summer Time! No surprise it sounds great - spot on musicianship produced by Specialized's own Paul Ayriss!
Available from https://girlsgoska1.bandcamp.com/track/la-tierra
Veteran ska-punkers The Bruce Lee Band dropped their new single Division in the Heartland at the end of last week. Mike Park of Asian Man Records fronts TBLB and this is a fine example of their sound. Hard, heavy and politically on point. The offbeat rhythm is set to overdrive with a fantastic sing-a-long chorus. Chalking up only 2 minutes long - would be great live!
A great label based in London is Happy People Records. They boast an impressive roster including Button Down Radio favourites: Pama International, Phoenix City All-stars, Joe Yorke, The Co-operators, King Zepha, Roger Rivas, Capitol 1212, The Bandulus, Perkie, The Caroloregians! They have about 40 releases so far all in the ska/reggae/dub/soul vein and a swathe of beautiful vinyl singles. The brainchild of Sean Flowerdew (Pama International, Phoenix City All-Stars, Skanga, Special Beat, The Loafers - not a bad resumé!) who also organises The London International Ska Festival... have got round to releasing this superb sampler of their best releases. 14 well chosen tracks to reflect the styles of the label (if a little heavy on the Pama International side - not a bad thing!)
1. Phoenix City All-stars - Seven Day Is Too Long
2. Pama International - Wake Up
3.Pama International - Neither High Nor Dry ft. Dennis Alcapone
4.Pama International - Betterment Dub
5.The Bionic Rats - No Bottles No Milk
6.Phoenix City All-stars - This Is Radio Clash
7.Pama International - Stop The War on the Poor
8.King Zepha - You Let Yourself Go
9.Phoenix City All-stars - Stereotype
10.Phoenix City All-stars - Wild Horses
11.Pama International - Seems Like We've Gone To Far
12.Pama International - You Make Me High
13.The Bandulus - Dear Lord
14.Pama International - Not Waving But Drowning (Now)
Available on beautiful vinyl, CD and digital download from https://happypeoplerecords1.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-happy-people-vol-1
Catch all these tunes on www.buttondownradio.com at
Sunday - 11:30 & 23:30
Monday - 07:00 & 16:00
Tuesday - 03:00 & 17:00
Wednesday - 02:30 & 20:00
Thursday - 08:00 & 16:00
Friday - 03:00 and 12:00
Saturday - 00:00 and 15:30
Tour news - Dave Wakeling's incarnation of The Beat released their UK tour dates for this year and are joined by BDR bros The Skapones
2nd July - Bristol Thekla (Sold Out)
13th July - Sheffield Leadmill
20th July - Manchester Club Academy
21st July - Liverpool The Tavern
28th July - Nottingham Rescue Rooms
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
The Ordinary Boys Ranking Junior Erin Bardwell Culture Shock Girls Go Ska The Bruce Lee Band Happy People Records King Zepha The Beat The Skapones