Jazzy ska from London

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Newhaven – our first gig for 18 months!


Aug 1, 2021 gig, setlist Comments are off

Yesterday we got to play for the first time in 18 months at a delightful food and drink festival in Newhaven in Sussex. Here’s a couple of soundcheck photos.

Two years ago we played just up the road at a festival in Seaford. It was good to be back – and really good to be gigging again.

The weather forecast was dodgy, but we played in bright sunshine. We had to drive through a storm on the way but the site was rain free at least until we left. Given the amount of gin on sale and consumed it would perhaps be inaccurate to say that it was a dry day.

The Skamonics at Newhaven


This is what we played. We had to cut the second set a bit short as there was a curfew on the gig.

  • Chinatown
  • Guns Of Navarone
  • Latin Goes Ska
  • Tide Is High
  • Mood For Love
  • My Baby Just Cares for Me
  • Work Song
  • Enola Gay
  • Mad World
  • London Calling
  • Rudy A Message To You
  • Red Red Wine
  • Monkey Man
  • Tequila
  • 99 Red Balloons
  • Tainted Love
  • Rudy A Message To You
  • Baggy Trousers
  • My Boy Lollipop
  • Gangsters


A return rural visit for a great gig


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

Skanking the Hootananny


Jan 8, 2014 gig , Comments are off

Tuesday nights in early January are probably not the best nights for attracting a crowd. Add in heavy rain, and we were half expecting to be playing to an empty pub.

1462857_679964262034523_1595849265_nIt was good therefore to see not just a pretty fair attendance but a full dance floor last night.

We like the Hootananny as it has a good stage and excellent sound, particularly in the hands of our last night’s engineer Geoff, who has mixed us before.

We also got the chance to play two full sets. And this is what we played:

Chinatown Dr Who
Guns Of Navarone Work Song
Latin Goes Ska Johnny Too Bad
Mood For Love Paranoid
You’re Wondering Now Pata Pata
Harder They Come 10 Out Of 10
Alley Cat Ska 99 Red Balloons
Man In The Street Tainted Love
Mambo Number 5 Rudy A Message To You
Tide Is High My Boy Lollipop
Enola Gay Gangsters
Price Tag

It went down well, and we hope to be asked back. Promoter Cecil Reuben knows his ska, and liked what we played.

We didn’t take any pictures but is anyone in the audience did we’d love to see them.

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.