The Skatalites (5 stars)

The Art School, Glasgow, Sun 6 May



After April’s rare treat of The Funk Masters, Glasgow’s next Band To See Before They Die offering was this May Day Fundraiser from Ska originals The Skatalites as they closed the Scottish leg of an expansive world tour. The support had been Edinburgh’s own maniacal institution Bombskare with a two-tone pogo that was tight enough to testify to their pedigree and wild enough to imply there was plenty of stomp left in them yet. The Skatalites that followed comprise three original members with one foot in the proverbial, a special guest vocalist and a couple of comparatively young upstarts completing the picture. The old guard beamed, mumbled incoherently and effortlessly knocked out all those classic proto-reggae gems. It was humbling to be reminded of how many stock, good-time riddims this band crafted and the debt owed by the world of music to such an unassuming, merry troupe, but above all it was a heavenly night of positive vibes and skanking good tunes. And another one to tell the kids about.

(Mark Edmundson)


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