Gig - Skakestra
The Skatoons, Lewes’ resident ska-jazz band (every
town should have one) are doing a special gig at the All Saints
which sounds like it’s going to be a riot. There are
normally seven musicians on stage; this time round there will
be 20. Four trumpeters, six saxists, four trombonists and
three percussion players as well as guitar, bass and keyboards.
Vocalist Michael Munday will be joined by guest vocalist Helen
Nicholls. Star turn will be Mark Bassey, one of Britain’s
top-level jazz trombonists. The band make an annual trip to
Pontypridd to take part in Glamorgan’s famous summer
jazz school. This year they encouraged a number of other musicians
from the workshop to join them down in Lewes for this gig.
They’re going to produce a mighty big sound, and have
extended their repertoire for the occasion.
The Skatoons are well worth seeing at the worst of times.
They play a number of old ska classics (like Guns of Navarone
and I’m in the Mood For Love) and then they do ska’d
up versions of jazz and soul classics like Charlie Parker’s
Barbados and Aretha Franklin’s Walk on By. It’s
infectious, inhibition-losing skank-inducing stuff. This time
round they’re extending their repertoire as well as
their band: expect a couple more Skalites numbers, expect
a Meters cover, expect a new take on classic tracks by Curtis
Mayfield and Charles Mingus. Best of all, expect a version
of Hawaii 5-0. Imagine: a fourteen-piece brass section, churning
out that classic tune to an off-beat rhythm, with the whole
of the crowd doing the actions. Madness. DL