Monday, 15 June 2009
The Slackers stopped at Bristol’s Thekla during their recent European tour and I was fortunate enough to interview Jay from the band and watch them play. Please check out the previous post for the video interview with Jay, I’ll keep you posted on when this has been written up and is ready for our first issue.
Support on the UK leg of the tour was from The Skints, who put a modern twist on the ska genre, taking aspects that make UK Ska and Skacore. The live sound offered by The Skints is tight and their performance was full of energy. I would recommend seeing them live if the opportunity arises and expect big things from them in the next few years as they are slowly catching some media attention.
There was a huge amount of anticipation for The Slackers and they did not disappoint. The band describe their brand of music as Caribbean Rock ‘n’ Roll which perfectly describes the genre twisting style they play. Their sound perfectly fit the description from the deep bass, great brass, bouncy guitars and organ, and the contrasting vocals from Vic and Glen.. They played the perfect mix between tracks from old records, the current album ‘Self Medication’ and even threw a Lulu cover in for good measure.
The performance whipped the crowd into a frenzy which was perfectly finished off with the final song of the set, where they got the entire crowd to kneel as they slowed the mood right down before speeding up for the finale. As you will see from the video below the live performance was a fine example of a band enjoying themselves on stage, making it impossible for the audience not to enjoy the night.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
I was one of lucky few people who got to enjoy the specials playing live on their reunion tour. It was amazing to see so many people united to see such an important band. Although there were worries at the back of mind that the band would not live up to my expectations.
Seeing such an inspirational band live after many of the audience had waited longer than my lifetime to see them was an honour. The music and political themes although written 30 years ago are still relevant, I know as a country we have come a long way but racism is still an issue for many people. Especially in the current political climate the anti- racist message was at its most inspiring when the entire audience were singing the chorus of ‘It doesn’t make it alright’ to hear thousands of people united in expressing racism is the ‘Worst excuse in the world’ was something I will never forget.
The night was by no means focused on politics and seriousness; the band were having a great time onstage and seemed to be honoured to have the opportunity to play in front of such a big audience again. There is nothing more enjoyable than watching a band who you love enjoying themselves on stage. Although the band are all 30 years older than when they were releasing music they played with more passion and energy than I have seen from many bands half their age play with.
The only aspect of the night which was not perfect was the choice of support act although the Dub Pistols were reasonably good I would have liked to see the Specials give a younger band the opportunity and exposure.
All in all the Specials were fantastic to watch and it was a true honour to whiteness such an important event.