Tag Archives: Reggae

Slam Dunk

Well, everyone’s been waiting. I say everyone, it’s not exactly a major festival, but ho-hum. It’s out. As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly thrilled by the first announcements of this year’s Slam Dunk Festival. The line-up includes Architects, Cancer Bats, and Forever The Sickest Kids, and, aside from the King Blues, who are just fantastic, and I cannot wait to see again, it’s all sounding like a bit of a headache! Maybe I’m just being negative, and I’ll wait and see, with some updates on the new announcements, but I’m hoping for more ska, as last year’s festival was probably the most fun I’ve ever had at a show, with bands like The Skints, who I’m sure will be making a return this year, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake.

Slam Dunk to me, means punk, reggae, and ska, but it all seems to be getting a little bit screamo for my liking. We’ll have to wait and see!

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Tell The Skints I’m Getting Impatient.

So, the Skints have finally closed their PledgeMusic account, after recieving far more donations than they ever could have hoped for. Which means their album MUST be on the way. I’ve been listening to their first album ‘Live, Breathe, Build, Believe’ for years now, and it has to be one of my favourite debut albums of all time. So my expectations built up by the variety of different acoustic covers released over the past few months on their facebook page have made the wait almost unbearable. Their covers have opened my eyes up to a whole variety of old reggae artists, whether it be Desmond Dekker, with their cover of ‘It Mek’ or Dennis Brown and his ‘Lips of Wine.’ The most recent release, which is set to be their most popular with almost 30,000 views already, is a cover of Katy B’s ‘On a Mission.’ I can’t say I’m a big fan of the original, but this ‘dub-ified’ version is sure to get reggae lover’s pulses racing. Check it out below. I’ll let you know when the new album’s out, it’s sure to be one of the highlights of 2012!!

Oh. Also, Marcia, musician extraordinaire from the Skints, is a bit of a blogger herself. Check out her Tumblr which features everything from Skints news to recipes and random information about her life, if you’re into stalking talented people.

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R.I.P Mouthwash!

It was a shame to hear about the split of long-standing British ska-punk group Mouthwash this month, just days after the release of the video for new single, ‘Nine To Five.’ The video, as seen below, was released on 20th June, whilst the split was announced on the 21st:

The band have been going since 1995 and have made a name for themselves as one of the most underrated British groups out there within the genre.

Despite being christened as an official ‘Erbert only last year, after seeing them support the King Blues with the Dirty Revolution in May, it was still sad news, as their music has made a big impact on me, especially their last album, ‘True Stories.”

Many bands have been paying homage to the group since the split, and it’s clear to see that this band have made a huge impact upon the scene, so they will be sorely missed. One such group are Sonic Boom Six, so Barney Boom decided to publish his first videoblog as a tribute to the band and their successes! R.I.P Mouthwash!

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Joe Strummer – The Future Is Unwritten

I have been a fan of The Clash for quite some time now, and in particular, Joe Strummer and his unique personality and attitude towards life that made him such a inspirational man. So, when I saw this film, among many others documenting the Joe and the Clash, and the fantastic reviews it had received, it was a must for me to buy.

The film documents Strummer’s life in a very unique way, combining interviews with the man himself, with friends and family sitting around a Strummerville festival campfire, rare video footage of Joe on stage, and other unusual clips, such as his cartoons reflecting his thoughts and feelings towards life, which were animated and adapted for film.

The film begins by discussing Joe’s childhood. It was so interesting to find out where the roots of his D.I.Y and hard working ethics originated from, such as being sent away to boarding school, and then having to bully his way out of falling into a completely miserable childhood.

The film also documents the breakdown of Joe’s career in The Clash and how he progressed onto writing his own solo material. It also shows people views of the man today, and how his legacy has lived on even in today’s world. I found the film truly thought-provoking and was a great insight into the life behind the scenes of one of punk’s most famous figures. For anyone even remotely interested in the Clash, this is a must-see, as Strummer was one of a kind, who made such a difference to the world around him.

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Artist Of The Week – Gogol Bordello

Well, this week, we have one of the most exciting, energetic, hilarious, and occasionally terrifying bands of the moment – Gogol Bordello.

These nutcases from New York have risen to fame playing their raucous fusion of Gypsy music, punk, folk, dub and many other styles on a relentless tour schedule across the globe. The band features accordion and violin, which adds an unusual and exciting element to their music.

Gogol Bordello is fronted by Ukranian-born singer, Eugene Hutz, who has a heck of a story to tell! Born near to Kiev, Eugene and his family were forced to flee the country, after hearing of the disaster at Chernobyl. They trekked for about 7 years through Eastern Eurrope, passing through hundreds of refugee camps.

Eventually, in 1991, Eugene found himself in the U.S state of Vermont, through a refugee rehoming program. These traumatic events he experienced as a child, as well as his Ukranian background became a big part of his song content. Gogol’s albums feature topics including immigration, and life as a gypsy.

The band will be playing at Reading and Leeds festivals this week, if you are heading there, I highly recommend you give them a listen!

For those of you who are willing to experience some very unique and unusual music, I would suggest watching this performance of ‘Pala Tute’ from Jools Holland’s ‘…Later Live’ show, from the BBC.

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Artist Of The Week – Rancid

Well, seeing as I’m not going to be at any more gigs until Muse in September, I thought I may as well add a new feature. So every week, I’ll put up an artist that I think is worth listening to. There’ll be plenty of variety, so let me know what you think!

So, this week – Rancid. This ska-punk band from The East Bay Area in California are still going strong, after the release of ‘Let The Dominoes Fall’ last year.

Rancid was founded by two ex-members of the short lived, yet legendary Operation Ivy – Tim Armstrong, who is on lead vocals and guitar, and Matt Freeman on bass. (In my opinion, Rancid have some of the best bass in punk – Check out the amazing bass solo in the last 30 seconds of Maxwell Murder, on ‘…And Out Come the Wolves’

On drums, Tim and Matt chose Brett Reed, however he left in 2006, to be replaced by ex member of The Used – Branden Steineckert.

The band then searched for a second guitarist – their first choice was Billie Joe Armstrong, a good friend of Tim Armstrong – however he turned down the offer. This proved to be a good decision, as Billie now fronts one of the worlds biggest rock acts – Green Day, of course! Instead, Lars Frederiksen was chosen in 1993 – who also fronts his own solo band- Lars Frederiksen and The Bastards.

Rancid have had seven studio albums out since their formation in 1991 – Their most successful being ‘And Out Come the Wolves.’ This album has since gone platinum. Other successful albums included ‘Life Won’t Wait’, and ‘Let’s Go.’

I recommend Rancid due to the fact that they are just an amazing punk band. They produce a great mix of upbeat ska-punk tunes that will leave you feeling much better than you did before you began listening. They also have a knack of producing songs that stick in your head for weeks on end!

I’ve also heard that they are fantastic live, so if they are playing near you, don’t waste the opportunity – get saving for those tickets!

I would recommend listening to: Radio, Roots Radical, Black Lung, Disconnected, Last One To Die, Life Won’t Wait and Time Bomb.

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