Jazzy ska from London

News/blog

Thanks Croydon, it was a blast

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Feb 28, 2016 gig, pictures, setlist Comments are off

We had a terrific gig at Croydon’s Oval tavern last night.

The pub was packed, and there were people dancing almost all the way through both our sets.

We took the opportunity to try out four new numbers:

My Baby just cares for me, which although a song from the 1930s will always be associated with Nina Simone. But while sme may not have been aware of it, it is very definitely a ska rhythm going on in her right hand.

London Calling – there’s lot of reggae and ska influences in the Clash, but perhaps not so much in the original of this. Now it is ska.

Hall of the Mountain King is from the Peer Gynt Suite by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. We thought turning this into a ska tune was wildly imaginative – and then we found that Madness had done a version.

Come Dancing is a great Ray Davies song that was a hit for the Kinks. We just like it a lot.

Each seemed to get a good reaction from the crowd, which is not always the case. Sometimes something can sound good at rehearsal and then be a bit of a flop.

This is what we played in our two sets. And we hope it won’t be too long before we get invited back.

  •  Chinatown
  • Guns of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • The Tide Is High
  • I’m in the Mood For Love
  • My Baby Just Cares For Me
  • Alley Cat Ska
  • Mambo Number 5
  • London Calling
  • Enola Gay
  • Price Tag
  • Red Red Wine

 

  • One Step Beyond
  • Hall of the Mountain King
  • Come Dancing
  • Simmer Down
  • 99 Red Balloons
  • Tainted Love
  • Rudy – A Message To You
  • Baggy Trousers
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Night Boat To Cairo
  • Gangsters

 

Gig next Saturday in Croydon

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Feb 21, 2016 Comments are off

The Skamonics at the Oval Tavern

Next Saturday – Feb 27 2016 – we play two full sets for free at Croydon’s Oval Tavern.

The Oval Tavern is at 131 Oval Road, CR0 6BR.

The gig will start at about 8:30.

And we have a few new tunes to try out.

 

A gig in London’s club land

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Dec 20, 2015 gig, setlist Comments are off

When Phineas Fogg set off to get around the world in eighty days, he left from the Reform Club on Pall Mall in the heart of London’s club land.

And this is where we played a gig last night.

Reform Club

It is a very grand building that reeks of history, and the many distinguished people who have passed through its doors.

As it’s so grand, we had to dress up. The pre-gig refreshments was also a cut above what we sometimes get.

dinner

Jackie Leah mark Vic

 

And this is what we played in one long set:

  • Chinatown
  • Guns of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • Mood For Love
  • Fly Me To The Moon
  • Work Song
  • Mambo Number 5
  • Egyptian Reggae
  • Enola Gay
  • Price Tag
  • Red Red Wine
  • Tequila
  • Misirlou
  • Simmer Down
  • 99 Red Balloons
  • Tainted Love
  • Rudy A Message To You
  • Monkey Man
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Night Boat To Cairo

(Almost) a whole live set on video

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Dec 15, 2015 gig, Video, videos Comments are off

We had a great time playing the New Cross Inn earlier this month.

Thanks to Studio Brixton we now have video of almost the whole set.part3

The whole gig was live-streamed using a number of cameras, but unfortunately there were some technical issues with the stream, which meant that our part of the gig often went dark.

But video and sound from one of the cameras was saved – and here it is in three parts.

New Cross Inn gig

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Nov 28, 2015 gig, setlist Comments are off

A great time was had by all at the New Cross Inn ska night yesterday. It’s fair to say that we were the closest to ska’s roots, but each band had an interesting take.

New Cross Inn gig poster
The gig was livestreamed on YouTube – and we hope to have a copy of the video so we can share the best bits.

As Leah had a family funeral, we were lucky to get Mari to join us on tenor sax for the evening. Despite the short notice, no-one would have known that this was the first time she was playing with us.

This is what we played:

  • Chinatown
  • Guns Of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • Mood For Love
  • Tide Is High
  • Enola Gay
  • Simmer Down
  • 99 Red Balloons
  • Tainted Love
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Gangsters (Vocal)

A set of live videos

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Oct 26, 2015 Comments are off

People sometimes say that they like our videos but wonder whether we can play as well live, as studio trickery these days is supposed to make anything sound good.

The short answer to that is that we by and large record live in the studio. What we gain from the studio is the opportunity to record in a good acoustic, use better microphones and balance the levels of  the instruments in the mix afterwards.

The long answer is that we were able to record and video a gig recently. Of course it does not sound as good as a studio recording as we simply took a feed from the PA and were unable to do any mixing after the event. And Veronica had a terrible cold.

Neither is it a very exciting video as we had just the one camera.

But we think it does give a good flavour of what we are like live – and the audience seem to be enjoying it.

A Southgate sixtieth

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Oct 18, 2015 gig, setlist Comments are off

We had a great time playing a sixtieth birthday party in Southgate last night.

It was a bit special as the party was celebrating the birthday of Chris’s mum – so we put him centre stage.

We got to play a full two sets, and as a special request, we slotted in some Stevie Wonder tunes – only one of which has any relation to the ska, rocksteady and early reggae that we play, so we made Chris play the tricky bits.

We don’t have any photos, but this is what we played.

 

  • Chinatown
  • Guns Of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • Tide Is High
  • Mood For Love
  • You Can Get It
  • Harder They Come
  • Man In The Street
  • Mambo Number 5
  • Enola Gay
  • Price Tag
  • Red Red Wine
  • I Wish
  • Sir Duke
  • Master Blaster
  • Simmer Down
  • Pata Pata
  • Tainted Love
  • Rudy A Message To You
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Monkey Man
  • Baggy Trousers
  • Night Boat To Cairo
  • Baggy Trousers
  • Gangsters

A return rural visit for a great gig

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Aug 30, 2015 gig, setlist , Comments are off

A year ago we were asked to play at the opening of a country pub near Andover.

Hurstbourne Tarrant
We were delighted to asked back to play at their first birthday party.

This nearly turned into the gig from hell as the car carrying Veronica, Frank, Nigel and the PA system got stuck in in terrible traffic despite having left what should have been more than enough time to get there well in advance.

Even on the last ten miles they got stuck behind a tractor for most of the way. This does not happen on the way to gigs in Camden.

We were due to start playing at 8pm. The rest of the band were therefore more than relieved when the PA turned up at 7:20.

With a little bit of luck, a lot of organisation and a 3 minute sound check we were still able to play our first song by a few minutes past 8.  It was good that we were playing in a marquee as they help prevent feedback.

And once we were playing everyone relaxed into a great party atmosphere and we played two hour long sets to much appreciation. Everyone seemed more chilled about our late arrival than we were – as we pride ourselves on a professional approach. But you can’t plan for that many accidents on the M25 and M4.

This is what we played.

  • Chinatown
  • Guns Of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • Tide Is High
  • Mood For Love
  • Harder They Come
  • Alley Cat Ska
  • Man In The Street
  • Mambo Number 5
  • Dr Who
  • Egyptian Reggae
  • Enola Gay
  • Price Tag
  • Red Red Wine
  • Tequila
  • Misirlou
  • One Step Beyond
  • Simmer Down
  • Pata Pata
  • 10 Out Of 10
  • 99 Red Balloons
  • Tainted Love
  • Rudy A Message To You
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Monkey Man
  • Baggy Trousers
  • Night Boat To Cairo
  • Gangsters

All the pictures from the Crystal Palace vintage festival on one page

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Jul 12, 2015 festival Comments are off

Crystal Palace vintage festival

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Jul 5, 2015 festival, setlist , Comments are off

We had a great time last weekend playing  the vintage event that was part of the Crystal Palace Overground festival.

We decided to play music from the 1960s or earlier for our set to make sure we kept to the vintage vibe. And this is what we played.

  • Chinatown
  • Guns Of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • Mood For Love
  • Tide Is High
  • Fly Me To The Moon
  • Mambo Number 5
  • Simmer Down
  • Tainted Love
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Gangsters

And we could have played many more 60s tunes if we had been given more time to play.

We hadn’t quite realised before that the Skamonics are an ideal fit for a vintage themed event. Normally they draw influences from a number of decades, but tend to rely on 40s swing for their music. There’s nothing wrong with that but adding some authentic 60s ska adds variety.

We commissioned some photos ourselves as we don’t have any good ones from an outdoor festival. Mouse over the one below to start the gallery. And there are some more photos and phone video taken by others on our Facebook page.