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

Bone merchant Peter Thompson will be joined by 13 others in
the brass section as the Toons go Big Band

All Saints Centre
When? Sat 2nd Sept 7.45pm
How Much? £7
Ska Toons
(w) Website