With three bands on the bill tonight and the M4 traffic, it was always going to be a struggle to get there early enough to catch all three so sadly Buster Shuffle was a victim of congestion getting off the motorway so as we make our way into the packed Tramshed The Skints amble onstage and proceed to lay out their stall of ska but with added dollops of Reggae. With vocals coming from Josh, Jamie and Marcia there was a lot going on especially with Marcia providing keys as well as Saxophone, flute and drum pads.  Not for me, I’m afraid to say, I prefer my ska with added rock like The Bar Stool Preachers or Jaya the Cat but I did appreciate they handled their craft with style and precision but it was a little laid back for me tonight maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for a chill-out.

Now the last time I saw the headliners was their first headline tour of the UK whilst they were good (the songs are great) I found the showbiz side of their slick performance a little too much too soon if you know what I mean.  Tonight, Was a different beast altogether.  Sure they were still slick and the songs are great, upbeat numbers were knocked out thick and fast with added brass for good measure. The band is so positive and smiley tonight there was little banter between songs and they pretty much got on with the job and rocked! Let’s face facts here The Interrupters have drive-in abundance and a will to get to where they want to be and through sheer determination, they simply have to get to the top, they don’t expect anything less and if it’s through hard work and hitting the road then they’re going to put in the hard graft.

Cardiff is bouncing on a School night and if the band is gonna play then they are going to get a helping hand from the audience and the enthusiasm is infectious. In Aimee, they have star quality born with a beaming smile and a tonne of energy and backed up by the brothers three tonight they are on fire.

Starting off with ‘A Friend Like Me’ and straight into ‘By My Side’ it was a sign of intent. By ‘Take Back The Power’ the audience was won over and this was cooking up to be a special night. The band breaks into ‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish and totally own it. Kevin took a breather and then the band jammed a crowd-pleasing ‘Message To Rudy’ Kevin seemed genuine when he said how blown away he was with this first night of the tour and a new City.  I’m sure the band were impressed enough to come back next time when they have a new record to haul around the globe and I’m sure the thousand capacity venue that’s rocking and rolling as one won’t be big enough to house those who want to come see the band who have managed to cross-generation divides as the audience is from teens to people almost collecting their bus passes and they’re all beaming.

‘She Got Arrested’ bled into ‘Gave You Everything’ and it was already time for the encore.  What a difference and sure Kevin played a snatch of Oasis followed by some Tom Jones which seemed to make his brothers and he laugh out loud but by this point I’m sure had he sung the local take away menu the crowd would have sung along. For the final slice of fake encore, we were taking stock of what had happened, oh yeah we’d even had a drum solo! oh yeah, remember them?  ‘Family’ preceded the final bow of ‘She’s Kerosene’ and we were out of there. The Interrupters had come of age.  Played a blinding set full of great tunes and people were wandering into the cold night air drenched in sweat and beaming smiles all around – It’s great when a band is just winning at life and by doing what they do spreading a little bit of that love and happiness around this island that short on that right now.  Until next time see ya! Exactly what the doctor ordered to shake of those January post Holiday blues.


Author: Dom Daley

Nev Brooks.

Picture the scene, I’m Sat watching BBC 4 (someone has to) and on comes out of the blue (not entirely) Roots, Reggae, Revolution, an absolute classic fronted by Akala, an in-depth analysis of the history of reggae and how Ska came forth from the Dancehall.


Sitting where it began as something that came out of necessity, through times of struggles, designed and delivered to help lift up the community sending forth a huge message both political and social.  Further down the line it drifted with real Roots reggae taking hold, sat simmering in the background until it leapt to prominence again in the late seventies/early eighties under the banner of Two Tone. Now if we look at music and cross genres, Rock and Roll always preached rebellion, looking down on an older generation, Punk spat not just Anarchy but a sense of Nihilism, whereas Two Tone (Ska) preached togetherness, Black and White united against a social structure where the far right were at their most active. The message cutting forward against a Thatcherite Britain, promoting togetherness, kicking against austerity measures and giving a clear message through infectious rhythms and well-voiced opinions.


Leaders of the movement The Specials, The Beat, The Selector all still going great guns now, or should I say all re-ignited given their voice back through those same issues coming full circle, the far right rising, Brexit looming and the need for the musical underground to find a voice. Taking the sound on mutating it and adding a hint of Anarchy was always going to be a good thing so it stood to reason that Ska was going to infiltrate the Punk underground for its next stage of development.

Now over the last four/five years I’ve really immersed myself in the sound and one band that look set to cross over into the mainstream has to be The Bar Stool Preachers, skanking out of Brighton I’ve ended up in conversation with vocalist TJ McFaul on a number of occasions raved about both their LP’s Blatant Propaganda and Grazie Governo both of which you can pick up here Bar Stool Preachers live they put on an amazing show and second LP Grazie Governo should be the one to launch them into the big time, if you can get bigger than playing to 15,000 across Europe supporting Die Totenhausen. You might not have heard of them? I suggest you rectify the matter, check it out


Next up if that really takes your fancy bounce along to The Popes of Chillitown again a band simmering away tearing up venues nationwide whether you pick up the first LP A word to the wise (it was a pledge release) their sophomore LP To the Moon or the new LP Work hard, Play hard See you in the Graveyard you will not be disappointed All of which you can pick up here :-


Popes Of Chillitown these are a must-see live act, ripping through Reggae/Ska/Dub/Punk/Hip-Hop and Drum and Bass all done with an infectious smile, check it out


Now you might be starting to build one of those recommended playlists if your streaming this stuff, which granted most people do nowadays, but what you really should be doing is supporting the bands not the streaming platforms, get on the website or better still buy at a gig, you might even manage to get it signed!!!


Next up has to be Skaciety bouncing out of Kent they released an absolutely blinding LP Overstaying our welcome you can pick it up here

Bandcamp again yet another band tearing up stages across the UK, check them out

Sitting on the TNS roster of bands next up Faintest Idea released an LP that absolutely tears your face off called the Minimum Rage, followed up by the second LP The Voice of Treason politically in your face and with a real hardcore edge this attacks the genre from a different angle, still ska undoubtedly but leaning more towards a real punk/ political edge. You can pick both up here


By now your either bouncing around the room or wondering why the fuck haven’t I listened to these bands before, take a breath there are many more what about The Skints, Random Hand, Call me Malcolm, Complicated men of Leisure, Captain Accident and the Disasters to mention just a few more. Or if you want to look further afield what about the mighty Interrupters?


or the band I’m going to leave you with Jaya the Cat? Here come the Drums indeed!! Enjoy go ahead and discover your new favourite band. As with everything the biggest fun you’ll ever have in this musical world is discovering something new.

Jaya the Cat


BSP pic by Dod Morrison