Ayrshire Post 23.1.15

Posted on Thursday 29th January 2015 00:00 by FreckFest

Seaside Ska


Freckfest, the voluntary organisation set-up by a group of Irvine music fans to maintain the legacy of local legend Willie Freckleton are the people behind Seaside Ska which takes place at Troon Concert Hall on Friday February 6th. 


In a first for the town, three great bands and a ska DJ will be on hand to entertain fans of ska, rocksteady and bluebeat. Thirsty revellers wil be able to refresh themselves at a licensed bar, and in a nod to travelling music fans, the event will be finished in time for gig-goers to catch the last train home. What ska-mazing value for £10!

The three bands will be no strangers to followers of the ska scene. Big Fat Panda hail from the capital city and play a mixture of ska, rocksteady and reggae, a balance of self-penned songs and recognisable cover versions. An energy-packed live act, you won’t want to miss them. 

Esperanza are perhaps the best known of the acts, but for the saddest of reasons. The 9 piece from Glasgow were playing in the Clutha Bar a year past in November when a police helicopter fell from the sky and through the roof of the pub, killing 10 people. Esperanza’s shows are famous for the audience’s non-stop dancing to the band’s ‘superskanking party noise’.

The Amphetameanies are almost something of a Glasgow institution. Various members have come and gone, formed bands of their own and gone on to major success. Alex Kapranos learnt his trade as an Amphetameanie for four years before forming Franz Ferdinand. Belle & Sebastian’s Mick Cooke is a founding member and recently left the Brit Award winners to rejoin The Amphetameanies’ brass section as a trumpet player.


Some of the current line-up are moonlighting from other well-known acts. Lead guitarist Jim Brady usually plies his trade in punk-pop legends The Rezillos. He’s joined on guitar by John Clark, taking a break from his day job as sonic architect in cult indie band Bis.

With their fluid line-up (always an 8-piece band, but occasionally expanding to a 9 or 10-piece act) The Amphetameanies come to Troon armed with a new album, Last Chance Bordello (a brilliant mix of original up-tempo modern ska and Two Tone-influenced rhythms) and a manifesto to get the whole room dancing to their infectious brand of high-octane ska. 


Ahead of Seaside Ska we caught up with Amphetameanies bass player Gordy Davidson.


‘Seaside Ska’? That’s a good name – it reminds me of the old days when we’d travel to the Ayrshire coast on our scooters. We’re looking forward to the gig. We love playing live. We approach every gig the same way we’ve done since we started. At T In The Park one year, I looked to the side of the stage and watched Joe Strummer nodding at me with his thumbs up in approval. If it worked for Joe why would you want to change it? I see The Amphetameanies as a gang thing, the same way that Madness or The Specials are a gang…it’s us against the world. Come and join us!”


You can join the gang when The Amphetameanies play ‘Seaside Ska’ along with Esperanza and Big Fat Panda at Troon Concert Hall on Friday 6th February.

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