All Shapes and Sizes of British Ska From One of Our Favourite Bands
My heart generally sinks when someone says “I love Ska Music too.”
Well; 99.99% of the time it means they once saw Bad Manners or the Specials at Uni and own Madness’s Greatest Hits, possibly a Two Tone Compilation plus every Christmas go to see a Lookey-Likey Ska Band on the annual ‘lads night bash’.
On the other hand there are literally hundreds of bands across the globe still keeping the flame that was first lit in the Alpha Boys School many many years ago, not just lit, but sparking off in a hundred new directions; and lovingly heralded by the Do The Dog Skazine.
One of my favourite bands over the last 20 + years has been the Bakeseys; and I’d forgot how much they’d evolved in that time until now; when you can hear everything in one sitting (warts n all).
Nothing for the Vinyl Fetishists here; as Kevin Flowerdew knows his demographic probably all listen to music on their phones now; so this is a Bandcamp Exclusive and therefore download only …… which I appreciate.
The party starts with their (nearly) hit Sunnyside Up; and is very much the song that non-believers will instantly recognise as Two Tone Ska; with its fabulously bouncy and danceable melody and razor sharp lyrics.
Bizarrely this is followed by a live track, Looking For Love from 1994, which opens with “This is our last song!”
I appear to have missed this early incantation as it certainly sounds highly influenced by The Buzzcocks of all bands; but the instant excitement from this and the other live tracks on the release prove that from Day #1 The Bakesys were a fantastic night out.
All in all there are 82 tracks here; and I sure ain’t going through them one by one!
Even with that bonkers amount of songs on offer; there are a lot more hits and misses.
We won’t deal with the latter category; but in the former; footstompers like Pickle My Brain, Life So Tuff, Yesterday’s Man and Old certainly beligh the theory that this is just Pop Music; probably by the third or fourth time of listening you will be too tired to dance; so actually listen to the words; they every inch as potent a Social Commentary as Madness and The Specials my friend.
If you really know your Ska it won’t come as a surprise to find a couple of demos and Dub Versions here; a bit of a ‘guilty pleasure’ back in the day; but generally hard work today; but then again I did find myself turning the volume up in the car for Rainy Day Dub.
Speaking of ‘turning the volume up’ that has become an involuntary action for the Live Tracks here; they just demand to be played L.O.U.D ……. try Don’t Worry, Be Happy and the ubiquitous Liquidator; your car will rock so hard it will scare the Bejasus out of that kid in the Corsa playing Hippity Hop at the traffic lights!
For my Favourite Song Animated Violence and Rich Boy Rude Boy have been a bit of a pleasant surprise here; and the title should probably go to Sex Freaks as it’s been in my Top 100 Ska Songs for a lot of years; but no …… I say no …… as The Bakesys have come back kicking and screaming in the last few years; regaining the piss and vinegar of their youth ……. getting all political again; which is a good, good thing.
Do The Austerity Skank, while an instrumental is rather haunting and bordering on the existential; but I’m plonking for a bit of bonkers Ska, which somehow seems a bit apt for 2020 as the pandemic gets worse and worse; so When The Zombies Come gets our seal of Ska approval.
Because it’s a download only; this obviously isn’t aimed at the Christmas Market; but it is the ideal ‘What the Hell’ present to yourself and will give pleasure for years to come as you dip and delve into one of Britain’s unsung heroes back catalogues.
The Bakesys 1990 – 2020
Kevin Flowerdew – keys
Stu Flynn – vocals
Stef White – bass, vocals
Anthony Baker – guitar
Robbie Howe – drums, vocals
Nasser Bouzida – drums, percussion, vocals
Toby Courage – drums
Clive Cornwall – drums
Colin Milne – road crew
Harry Hayward – road crew
Mark Whittaker – drums, guitar
Nick Nicholls – drums
Keith Langley – steps, vocals
Grant Stone – vocals
Darren Trent – vocals
Antony Finn – vocals
Gwyn Edwards – guitar
Phillip King – saxophone
Will Kevans – trumpet
Released November 15th 2020
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