Jazzy ska from London

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Ten years after – a repeat booking


Nov 25, 2018 setlist, wedding , , Comments are off

We had a lovely booking inquiry a few months ago:

The Skamonics played at our wedding, just under 10 years ago, and were one of the highlights of the day! We were wondering whether you might be free to play at our 10 year wedding anniversary party, which is on 24 November this year.

And so last night we made our way to the Hackney Coffee Company to play two sets. This was our first gig for some time and we had a blast. Remi joined us on guitar as special guest for his first gig with us, and having played in a ska band in Poland for ten years he was a natural fit.

We took a rushed picture at the sound check (before we had changed) and this is what we played:

  • Chinatown
  • Guns of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • The Tide is High
  • I’m in the Mood for Love
  • My Baby Just Cares for Me
  • Work Song
  • Alley Cat Ska
  • Mambo Number 5
  • Enola Gay
  • Mad World
  • London Calling
  • Monkey Man
  • Red Red Wine
  • One Step Beyond
  • Mountain King
  • Come Dancing
  • Simmer Down
  • Pata Pata
  • 10 Out Of 10
  • 99 Red Balloons
  • Tainted Love
  • Rudy A Message To You
  • Baggy Trousers
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Night Boat To Cairo
  • Gangsters

A gig in a tipi


Aug 27, 2012 gig, setlist, wedding , , Comments are off

… or is it teepee?

We had a terrible journey to what turned out to be a great gig near Dorchester in Dorset.

It was lucky that we had all set out in good time, as a combination of torrential rain, and endless bank holiday traffic hold ups meant that it wook hours longed than we expected to get there.

However once we were there it quickly became an immensely enjoyable evening.

The reception was in a giant tent constructed from two tipis. We had enough time to set our equipment up and sound-check.

We were also able to provide our PA for the wedding speeches and to use for the first dance and disco parts of the evening – courtesy of the groom’s ipod.

Most exciting for us was the debut of Nick’s new blue plastic trombone.

Astonishingly it sounds pretty indistinguishable from a traditional brass instrument. But it’s a shame you can’t get them in a 2-tone black and white check pattern.

This is what we played. One highlight was one of the guests proving to be an accomplished rapper to Skaravan. Whether Duke Ellington would have approved is another matter …

First set Second set
Guns of Navarone

Latin goes ska

Double barrel

You’re wondering now

Mood for love

Alley cat ska

Fly me to the moon

Can’t get you out of my head

Enola gay

Price tag



James bond



Ten out of ten

99 red balloons

Tainted love Rudy a message to you

My boy lollipop

Baggy trousers


Night boat to Cairo

Gangsters (vocal)


Photos from Rotherhithe


    Oct 30, 2011 pictures, wedding Comments are off

    Steve catches a fly
    The band
    The horns
    Steve catches a fly
    The band
    The horns

    Great gig in Rotherhithe


    Oct 30, 2011 gig, wedding , Comments are off

    >Update: We’ve had a nice message from our clients:

    ” Thanks so much for playing on Saturday, we had such a fantastic time. We’d like to send you all a card “



    We had huge fun playing for D and N’s wedding blessing last night. This was at the Hilton hotel on the banks of the Thames in Rotherhithe, just across the river from Canary Wharf.
    As Steve’s photo shows, it was a beautifully clear evening though not the time of year for outdoor gigs.

    We learnt three new songs at the couple’s request. For their first dance we had to knock up a quick arrangement of They can’t take that away from me. This is an old jazz standard written by George Gershwin, though we suspect many people today are more likely to know the Robbie Williams version and probably think it’s called The way you wear your hat as at least some of the band did. As we already do songs like Fly me to the moon and In the Mood for Love,  we know how to ska up these great old swing tunes.
    For their second song they wanted Moondance. We didn’t think this could really be done with a ska or reggae feel so did it rather like the original.
    We had the most fun with Hava Nagila. This introduced the band to the traditional chair-lifting that goes with this old tune at Jewish ceremonies. And it makes for a great bit of ska, allowing Steve to demonstrate the klezmer side of his clarinet playing. We will be playing this one again.
    Here’s the set list we played.
    They Can’t Take That Away from mea special request for the first dance
    Moondanceanother request
    Guns Of Navaroneall ska bands have to play this
    Latin Goes Ska – a favourite 60s ska instrumental
    I’m in the Mood For Love – swinging ska jazz that we often do as a first dance
    You’re Wondering Now – a 60s ska song that Amy Winehouse recorded
    Alley Cat Ska – another 60s instrumental
    Man In The Street –  and another
    Fly Me To The Moon – ska swing
    Can’t Get You Out out of my Head – Kylie goes ska
    Enola Gay – many 80s songs make great ska
    10 Out Of 10 -Paolo Nutini proves that great ska songs are still being written
    Hava Nagila –probably the best known Jewish song, which we do as an instrumental

    Second Set 

    James Bond instrumental classic
    Misirlou – from Greece to surf guitar classic to the Skamonics!
    99 Red Balloons –another 80s classic
    Tainted Love – and another
    Rudy A Message To You – a 60s song that evryone associates with the Specials
    My Boy Lollipop – more 60s
    Baggy Trousers our Madness tribute
    Israelites  – Desmond Dekker’s great reggae song
    Night Boat To Cairo – and another Madness song


    Gangsters – more Specials
    Tequila not ska, but a another great 60s instrumental and party favourite


    We have a very rough recording of the gig, and more photos, so there should be more to come.

    some lovely feedback


    Sep 13, 2010 feedback Comments are off

    Here’s a message from our last wedding gig 

    Dear Skamonics

    We wanted to say a big thanks for your efforts at our wedding – you were fantastic and everyone mentioned what a good choice of band we had made – so thank you all.

    We’re glad you enjoyed it. We know what a responsibility it is to play on that special day, and it’s always great when it goes down well.