Back to the Retro Bar (AGAIN) for a few more new bands to cast my eager eye upon. I arrived near enough bang on time with Mike Harijan kicking off the evening’s entertainment with a solo set that really got me down. Firstly let me state that I was in the minority here in the fact that I didn't enjoy this one bit. Dreary and mundane and with the current 'grey day' climate I wanted something more jovial than this. Mikes a talented lad and leads the ever impressive Harijan, a band who are one of the real skanky talents out there. This however was a pure annoyance to my earholes and I applaud myself for having the willpower to stick it out to the end. Like I say I was definitely in the minority but it isn't the first time nor will it be the last but either way I can't say I like something when I don't. This 'erbert will do OK though and already has a small army of fans who think he's 'mint'. Oooh how I hate that word!
Next up The Physical Jerks a band who impressed the last time I saw them and who tonight just seemed to lack the individuality of the previous viewing. It was OK but there seems a whole lot in reserve and the keyboard input was sorely missed by myself. Perhaps again this is only my opinion and on the evidence of the crowd it seems that is the case. Such are the hazards of being the Fungal Fucker but I ain't telling lies just to gain votes in the popularity polls. The rivers of music flowed well but a few extra rapids thrown in would have been more than welcome and when indeed the pace did change it was with great effect and more to the kind of quality this lot are capable of. I'd recommend them nonetheless and am sure skankers up and down the land will find a great deal of pleasure watching and listening to these 'erberts.
My main reason for turning up tonight was to witness the mighty Los Salvadores. This would be my debut viewing of an outfit who I predicted would rock the joint to the rafters and may just be the best band the Ska Bar has on this year. Well, in truth, and without blowing my own rusted trumpet, I may just be spot fuckin' on! This was a mammoth performance with a variety of components all blending and thoroughly aware of one another thus creating a musical exhibition to savour. Highly crafted songs that get your feet tapping and your mind thinking this was a masterclass in composition and delivery. The frontman had a full blown work out on stage and pinged and ponged here, there and everywhere. The mandolin player had a few goes on and off stage too and this only helped to increase the exciting visuals. 'Act II' rocked as did the beautifully orchestrated 'My Coloured Town' but to find a dud I would have to be one fussy fucker indeed. A brilliant inclusion and a winning moment for all who contributed to make this happen.
Chits and chats and still no beer for me (impressive hey) and back in for reggae heads The Navigantes. Spliffy wiffy time it seemed and these guys did just what they are good at. No experimentation and pure cruising ragamuffin tuneage that absorbed the crowd’s attention and got quite a few of them moving and a grooving. Yeah not bad at all and another band to investigate further and one's to watch on this popular scene. I hated the Clash cover because I hate the Clash (what - more unpopular opinion) but I do admit they played it real well.
I fucked off home after this lot so apologies to Stand Out Riot who I am sure had plenty of support and did well for themselves. Loads to catch up on and mushie walks and mothing nights aplenty to come so the need to get home and do a bit of work on that side was a must.
Decent evening, decent bands and the Ska Bar seems to be dealing with the credit crunch quite adequately.
review by OMD (24 February 2009 )