Babyhead (3 stars)

Trouble Fifth Birthday, Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Fri 6 Apr

SKA

While it can be difficult to get excited about a live ska band on paper, even after the fact, it can be harder to maintain one’s cool when they’re up on stage. This troupe of oddball acid jazz throwbacks from Bristol are tipped for big things but so far their recorded material hardly sets my heart aflame. I harbour similar feelings for Kiwi festival men-gods Fat Freddy’s Drop, to whom Babyhead provide an altogether harder, less dubby, British flavour.

Of course if there’s a party needing started you can’t do better than a good stomp around, and giddying excitement here prevails in crowd and band alike. The charismatic outfit comprises guitars, brass and drums with a dynamic duo, perhaps hand-picked for their comedic disparity in height, providing vocal interplay and buoyant good humour. They make for a tight-knit ensemble, often literally moving as one, and with a livewire appeal that’s never in doubt on the dancefloor.

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