Ska-Line A Round Up Of The Global Ska Scene 14th March 2021 or..
Well to be honest, after Bandcamp Friday last week... it's been a bit quiet except for... BUTTON DOWN RADIO IS BACK ONLINE BABY!
As we celebrate our 5th birthday, we have finally gotten hold of licensing and broadcasting again. So stoked to once again be playing you the best in ska, rocksteady, Madness, 2-Tone, blue beat, early reggae, skinhead reggae, ska explosion, boss reggae, ska-punk, 3rd wave, ska-core, Northern Soul and a dash of Motown here and there on www.buttondownradio.com
With our new license, we are available in more territories including: UK, NETHERLANDS, MEXICO, GERMANY, SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, JAMAICA, GREECE, NEW ZEALAND, BELGIUM, HONG KONG, FINLAND, POLAND, ITALY & MALAYSIA. Get in touch if we are not broadcasting to your territory and we will see what we can do.
We started off back in 2016 as a frustrated teacher not being able to listen to anything at work other than mainstream broadcasting as education internet filters are set so high. There weren't many online ska stations at the time, so I decided to do my own one so I could hear my own music at work. Radionomy offered a free service, which was cool as my mates could listen too. Soon, people were discovering us and our listener base grew and grew. I started a Facebook page to connect with people and this also began to grow.
I made a quick logo using 2-Tone's Walt Jabsco and the famous Northern Soul fist and the letters BD. Just something to stick on the site to reflect the music we were playing.
Pretty soon, bands were getting in touch and offering us music to play. Absolutely stoked to hear from bands like The Fun Addicts, The Bionic Rats, Supertonic Sound Club, The Twilights, The Rough Kutz, King Hammond, The Launchers, The Downsetters, Erin Bardwell, The Specialized Project, Joker's Republic, The Downbeat Detonators, Jokerface, King Kong Girio, The Rocksteady Conspiracy, The Magnetics, The Skapones ... in fact this post could just be full of the fantastic musicians who have submitted the tunes that make the backbone of BDR.
We started with a base of trad ska from the Trojan / Treasure Isle / Studio One era and the first week or so that was all we played. We then added some 2-Tone as this was the first inkling we had of an off beat world. Next came the 3rd wave - this is when our love affair with ska began - through The Toasters, The Loafers, The Hotknives, Too Many Crooks and a burgeoning scene which we read about through Do The Dog Music skazine.
It was around this point that me and Mrs P started to go to Soul on the Sea on Bournemouth pier. Finally, somewhere to go and enjoy the music we love. What we hadn't factored on was the Northern Soul room. We had never heard this stuff before. And once we got used to the dancing, we kinda fell in love with the music so on came the Northern Soul to the roster. When the this happened, the modern Northern Soul bands got in touch - The Inciters, That Driving Beat, Johnny Boy Pryers etc so much wonderful new music out there.
Finally - we keyed in the post ska explosion stuff and dragged everything up to date with artists like Andy B and the World, Bad Operation, Mango Wood, Alpheus and so many more. We had a Facebook following of around 10,000 and had streamed in excess of 100,000 hours globally when Radionomy had fallen foul of licensing laws by not securing any licensing... we then were forced to go with Shoutcast and secure our own licensing which lead to us only playing in the UK. As we secured more licensing, we started branching out to a few territories.
We noticed the artwork of a geezer on Instagram by the username Scribbletwigs and asked him if he would design us a logo (after a few moaners - why can't you get your own logo) and so he did
What we have is two images of me in the Jabsco pose, with the Trojan helmet at the back. What an absolute legend - do check his stuff out at https://www.instagram.com/scribbletwigs/
We now have 13,000+ Facebook followers 3,000+ instagram followers, lost count of the amount of hours streamed. This time last year we were preparing for out first live DJ Set at the Butcher's Dog in Wimborne when the first lockdown happened. Hopefully we can look to a return to live events soon.
Over the past 5 years, I have made the most amazing friendships and when this damned pandemic is over I cannot wait to catch up with so many people and have a beer or glass of coke with them. I have learnt how to edit videos (https://www.youtube.com/c/ButtonDownRadio/videos ) , do graphic design:
music mixing, merch making https://www.tshirtstudio.com/marketplace/button-down-radio , networking, blagging, promoting and for that I am grateful. My ears are opened to a bigger ska scene and am privileged to know some of the finest humans on this planet.
Thank you for the kind words of support that come this way - for listening to the station - to all the bands who send us amazing music - to the listeners who hear a tune and then go search the bands out and buy music and merch from them and see them live - and to the ever patient Mrs P who puts up with my time consuming passion. So cheers! In a bastardisation of one of Stan Lee's quotes - you keep listening and we'll keep broadcasting.
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 Funaddicts, The Bionic Rats, Supertonic Sound Club, The Twilights, The Rough Kutz, King Hammond, The Launchers, The Downsetters, Erin Bardwell, The Specialized Project, Joker's Republic, Jokerface, King Kong Girio, The Rocksteady Conspiracy, The Magnetics, The Skapones, The Inciters, That Driving Beat, Johnny Boy Pryers, Andy B and the World, Bad Operation, Mango Wood, Alpheus