I really enjoy making these Skankin’ City mixes each year. Despite it being so big at BoomTown, there really isn’t enough Ska representation in the wider world these days, or Gypsy Fusion come to that. So here I’m representing both the ChinaTown and OldTown Districts of the city with just some of the bands you’ll be able to see this year. Below is a breakdown of the tracks with the stage they’ll be performing on.
The mix is currently Number 1 in the Mixcloud Ska Charts but feel free to spread it far and wide still. The more people we can get skanking the better.
1. MAROON TOWN – YA YA (LEMME TELL DEM) – CHINATOWN COURTYARD
Really excited to be able to get these guys. I literally never see them on any line ups but they still play all over the world. They’ve got so many classic tunes too. This is as good as any of the early Dub Pistols stuff in my eyes.
2. DUB PISTOLS – GANGSTERS – TOWN CENTRE
Speak of the devils 🙂 It’s been a while since we had Bazza and co but I still remember their shows well and they’re still one of the best party bands around. Their tunes remain top quality as ever too, though I opted for one of their classics here. One day we’ll get The Specials too!
3. GENTLEMAN’S DUB CLUB – TOO LITTLE TOO LATE – LION’S DEN
As I missed them out of the TrenchTown mix this year, it’s only right to include them here. One of the best live Reggae bands in the country, if not the world. This is them at their most skanking.
4. LOS ALBERTOS – CARRY ON (REGARDLESS) – TOWN CENTRE
Such a great band, it was a massive shame when they split. We’re still not fully over it to be honest, so I asked them to get back together for one last blast on the Town Cente stage. Their last set there was one of my all time favourites. I’m sure I’ve written about it here before.
5. DUBIOZA KOLEKTIV – USA – TOWN CENTRE / JOLLY DODGER
Caught these guys at the Hell Stage of Shangri La at Glastonbury this year. I watched with some trepidation as they’re one of the few bands I’d booked without seeing live (they rarely, if ever, play the UK). I needn’t have worried, they exceeded expectations and had the whole crowd jumping like crazy, not bad considering it was late on Sunday night. I have no doubt this will be a show and half.
6. GOGOL BORDELLO – WONDERLUST KING – TOWN CENTRE
Literally one of my favourite ever live bands, though the last time they played at BoomTown, I couldn’t get into the crowd to see them so spent the whole gig watching everyone in front of the stage go absolutely wild. That in itself was more than satisfying enough.
7. STREETLIGHT MANIFESTO – TOWN CENTRE
Much as I love the Devil Kicks Dancehall and ChinaTown Courtyard stages, it’s great to have Ska Punk bands that would absolutely rock the Town Centre. They’re few and far between when you think about it so it was inevitable we’d get these guys eventually, no matter how unlikely it might have seemed given their previous lack of appearances here in the UK.
8. THE BEAT – TEARS OF A CLOWN – TOWN CENTRE
I’m glad that Noisey and Tim Armstrong (from Rancid) put together their ‘Under The Influence’ series of documentaries that included one on Two-Tone. Even though I knew all about the bands and the history, it’s great to be reminded what absolute legends acts like The Beat are and how much our line up owes to their legacy. Plus it brings their music to a whole new generation too, which is also something I hope that we do. This is their Smokey Robinson cover, an absolute classic.
9. INNER TERRESTRIALS – RUN TINGS – DEVIL KICKS DANCEHALL
I am more than grateful to Alec from Devil Kicks Dancehall for inadvertently introducing me to so many great bands over the last few years. There is lots of really important history within the acts on that stage and it’s full of artists who have been fighting for justice, equality and humanity for generations. Not to mention the fact that they make excellent music! It’s unbelievable to think, but even though I’ve known Jay for a little while now, the first time I actually got to see the Terrestrials perform was at Fusion Festival last year and I absolutely loved it.
10. KUMPANIA ALGAZARRA – ALMIGHTY LOVE – JOLLY DODGER
This was another band I saw perform at Fusion last year. They’re one of the best Gypsy Fusion bands I’ve seen and I’m very happy to have been able to bring them over this year. Their recorded music is fantastic too, you might have caught this tune on my Tribe Of Frog set from last Halloween, love the Inspector Gadget licks.
11. LA PEGATINA – MALIFETA – TOWN CENTRE / JOLLY DODGER
Another band I’m yet to see in the flesh, but all their live videos and all of the people I’ve asked, have suggested it will be an incredible show. I decided to go with one of the tunes off their new album, although they have plenty of classic tracks from the last decade. For me they’re the band who are most taking the Manu Chao Mestizo sound forwards at the moment. Really high energy stuff.
12. KING PRAWN – THE DOMINANT VIEW – DEVIL KICKS DANCEHALL
Are there any bands that are in any way comparable to the likes of King Prawn these days? The climate is certainly perfect for them but I’m not aware of them if they’re out there. You never know maybe we might get to inspire a few. I seriously hope so because I think they’re necessary. It will certainly make our jobs easier in 10 years time too. This tune bangs!
13. LESS THAN JAKE – ALL MY BEST FRIENDS ARE METALHEADS – TOWN CENTRE
Again, I’m just really happy that we can provide a crowd of all ages who will come to see the likes of Less Than Jake and skank their little hearts out and really have fun with it. They’re such a fun band and that should in no way be underrated, because a lot of bands these days really forget how to have fun with what they do, and in my opinion that has a knock on effect to the whole world. These are serious times, so we need more fun please. Certainly heading down to watch these guy on the Town Centre is a good start!
14. THE INTERRUPTERS – A FRIEND LIKE ME – DEVIL KICKS DANCEHALL
Another great band that Alec has introduced me to. This time from LA and signed to Tim Armstrong and Brett Gurewitz’s (of Bad Religion) HellCat Records. I don’t know too much about them truth be told but I love this track and thought it fitted rather nicely.
15. CHAINSKA BRASSIKA – BAD HABITS – CHINATOWN COURTYARD
It’s been a real pleasure to see how far these guys have come in the last couple of years. They’re definitely one of the most exciting young bands of their kind and you might remember I posted the video to this track when it was released on SBTV earlier in the year. They’ve played BoomTown the last couple of years but I think this year could be a really special set to go check.
16. FISHBONE – UNYIELDING CONDITIONING
Sadly these boys had to pull out of their whole European Tour which was a massive shame. I recorded this mix before we got the news so they’re still on here, but it is a fantastic track and I’m sure we’ll get them in the future.
17. CAPDOWN – SKA WARS – DEVIL KICKS DANCEHALL
I still remember the last time Capdown played, it was on the Town Centre during the Olympics in London. Whilst the rest of the world was going crazy over that, not one person in the crowd could have given a flying f**k about it, and they were going far more crazy over the heavy Ska Punk being played through the massive speakers. In fact here’s a video to prove it.
You can still buy tickets for this year’s BoomTown here.