As the good weather in the northern hemisphere prepares to bid people goodbye, it’s a little late for ska band Half Past Two to be delivering a summer anthem. Nevertheless, the Californian ska/pop/reggae/punk band bring a feel good style to their new track ‘Scratched CD’.
It’s a bank holiday weekend in Margate. The sun hasn’t shone properly for what feels like an age, but a huge crowd are still clinging on to a summer spirit and are clearly hoping The Specials will bring some extra good vibes to the seaside town on the first night of their ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’ tour.
Their name might not be the most familiar yet, but Orange County ska band Bite Me Bambi are about to become part of your summer soundtrack. They’ve been releasing digital singles since 2019, but their new release is one that’s sure to put them on the map.
With the vinyl reissue of the 2-Tone live album ‘Dance Craze’ and the 8CD 2-Tone box set hitting the shelves in the autumn of 2020, it seemed like a good time to be a ska fan. While there seems to be no news regarding a much needed reissue of the ‘Dance Craze’ film as we move into 2021, The Selecter’s fans are given another cause for celebration.
On April 23rd, the classic Selecter debut ‘Too Much Pressure’ will be reissued on vinyl (in clear and black varieties) and a vastly expanded 3CD set.
In the summer of 1979, several young bands with a political conscience and an ear for the Jamaican sounds of the late 60s began to storm the UK charts. The British music scene subsequently experienced one of its most exciting post-punk movements when bands like The Specials and The Selecter became the “new cool” with their brand of energetic ska music. By October, the new movement had reached fever pitch when no fewer than three bands associated with the 2-Tone label appeared on a single edition of Top of The Pops. Decades on, it’s still possible to understand the incendiary effect these bands had when revisiting that footage. Much has been said about Madness’ abilities to give the studio a party atmosphere, but it’s The Selecter’s first appearance playing ‘On My Radio’ which, perhaps, best sums up the pure energy of ska’s second wave in a little over two minutes, with Pauline Black, Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson and Charley Anderson giving it the full on skank throughout.