Even if you’re not really a fan of Ska music, its festive, colourful sound will get you up on your feet dancing..or skanking as the old school skinhead/rudeboy sub culture called it. Bad Manners, celebrating their 40th Anniversary, whipped the crowd into a carnival of chaos on Friday night supported by the very capable Fistful of Trojans, and Aussie ska punk legends Area 7 in a triple bill bursting with energy and enthusiasm. Adelaide’s own Fistful of Trojans were a perfect inclusion in the line-up and were standouts in their own right, and of course Area 7 were still on the money with their classic setlist encompassing their 20-odd year career. As far as support acts go- these 2 bands got the crowd worked up and ready to dance! You just knew this was going to be a lot of fun!
A special mention goes to Area 7 for banging out a killer Ska version of the Angels’ classic ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again,’ and to band member ‘DJ’ for being cool and having a casual chat with us after their set.
If you can imagine the Ska/Two Tone scene in its heyday during the 70’s/80s, picture boys with shaved heads & girls with the classic ‘Skin Girl’ style, Trilby hats, buttoned up polo shirts, braces, and of course the compulsory Dr Marten boots representing the fashion of the era. The crowd were true to form and the eclectic gathering resembled a night out at a Brit pub in those days, although this time many of the heads were bald through age and not choice.
Buster Bloodvessel, a shadow of his former 130 kg self now weighing just over 80 kg, burst onto the stage with a bang and launched right into it with This Is Ska and their well-known cover of My Girl Lollipop. The unmissable brass section of Bad Manners added to the festive feel of this Ska-Fest, and were just brilliant. Judging by the dance floor which included people of all ages and dance abilities, Buster, the man with the really long tongue, had them eating out of the palm of his sweaty hand. But, despite the wild stage persona, Buster is a really nice guy when he’s not performing. Don’t let that tongue and the bald head fool ya! (Read up on our interview with the big man himself here)
The setlist comprised of all you’d expect from Bad Manners, and included Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu, Sally Brown, Skinhead Love Affair, Special Brew, Woolly Bully, & Lorraine. He dedicated ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ to the birth of his first grandchild earlier in the week (Congratulations Buster!), and even threw in a ska version of Deep Purple’s Black Knight. Ok, that one was a little bit sacrilegious (I’m a HUGE Deep Purple fan) but we’ll not judge too harshly because it was a cracker of a night.
Buster was clearly enjoying himself, and thanked the crowd numerous times before exiting the stage only to be beckoned back to the traditional Bad Manners chant of ‘You Fat Bastard,’ before delivering an encore of perhaps their more memorable hits Lip Up Fatty and the Can Can. It was fookin’ brilliant!
The verdict? Part nostalgia, part celebration, but total enjoyment and heartfelt smiles.
This Is Ska!
By Dazz Hassan
Tickets here http://tickets.metropolistouring.com/?Event=62478