LIVE | Sonic Boom 6 and The Skints

THE REBIRTH OF SKA PUNK?

Relentless Garage, Highbury and Islington, 15/10/09.

I’D HEARD good things about the Skints from various whispers around town but never actually heard them until tonight and I just wish I’d seen them sooner.

With everything based around a modern rude-boi reggae style the band have a real slinky feel to them with each track floating along soon creating a crowd of nodding heads.

Each time I looked up to the stage the singer Marcia was picking up a different instrument starting of with keyboard providing the reggae upstrokes and then to flute, saxophone and even melodica throwing each of these instruments into the mix to keep the sounds diverse.

I realised that for a reggae band the Skints do have a very streetwise and forceful sound nestling up against the Morcheeba like calm and its this juxtaposition that makes them so instantly likeable without them sounding like a bunch of punks playing a few upstrokes, They are carving out their own sound and its brought together a lot of influences in a very unique way.

The band who are on SB6’s Rebel Alliance records have got complete control over their music with well written songs hinting at slight elements of The Streets if they were really into reggae music, especially on the vocals and backing on ‘Contemplations of a modern rude boy’ a brilliant upbeat story style tune that you can download from rebel alliance.com alongside the other bands on the label.

It might seem strange to some that they aren’t a bit more abrasive or distorted and tend to ride the wave of calm slinky tunes throughout most of their set so if you like your tunes strictly punk rock this might not be the band for you but on most line ups a band like the Skints represent a welcome breath of fresh air and a new direction of reggae and ska roots.

Go and catch this band for a chance to get in some really silly dancing and to allow them to make you feel happy.

SONIC BOOM 6 work so well combining the skanking riddims of ska with the ferocity of punk and cutting it neatly with well written songs, a mix of genres and a lot of great lyrics and choruses that bring you up emotionally when you listen to them. This is a band that can keep the crowd dancing in different styles through the set and keep the songs in your head after the show and that really is the mark of a great band.

Each song of the set contains a killer hook of its own and a hint towards a number of different genres from hip hop, ska, dub and punk and it’s just a case of picking your favourite tonight. ‘Piggy in the Middle’ with its nod to the old school Capdown era ska punk is an obvious highlight tonight as is ‘Sound of a Revolution’ one of the bouncier tracks of the evening.

A special mention should be made of ‘An ode to DIY promoters’ a vitriolic blast of punk rock that last all of thirty five seconds and thanks all those who have helped put on shows for SB6 over the years just out of love for the band and the scene. Technically speaking the band are flawless and so well rehearsed and the set delivers everything the die hard crowd want tonight.

At the end of the set the band announce that guitarist Ben is leaving and that this will be his last London show so as a special treat Laila and Ben play the last song off the bands newest album together before the entire band rejoin them for a rendition of their first ever demo track which ties the night up nicely and gives all in the crowd a sense of the band’s history. It’s a shame to lose the original three way vocals of SB6 but it wont slow them down and will just take the band in new directions which has always been their strength.

Always a band to keep an eye on I can see Sonic Boom 6 continuing to do great things with their genre terrorism sound and DIY approach.

Matt Turner – freakofthepit@hotmail.com please contact for reviews & interviews

Go to rebelalliance.com to download the label sampler featuring cracking tracks from the Skints and SB6 alongside a dubstep remix of random hand and tracks from Mouthwash and the Babylon Whackers

words by: Matt Turner

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