Fire Brigade Turn Up For Bombskare

Posted on Monday 13th February 2017 00:37 by FreckFest

Well. We’ve had it all at our gigs. Or, we thought we had. All roads led to the Concert Hall in Troon on Saturday as an army of well-dressed gig goers turned out for our third Seaside Ska event. A natty selection of sleeve tattoos and cropped hair, coupled with Crombies, Perrys, and Levis, razor-sharp creases and mirror-shiny Docs were on display, which I’d imagine could be quite an imposing sight to the genteel citizens of Troon, a town more used to the “Fore!” on the golf course than the “1! 2! 3! 4!” from a killer band on-stage.

When a rogue fire alarm went off 10 minutes into first act Big Fat Panda’s set and the whole venue was evacuated, there were one or two local dog walkers keeping an extra-tight grip on the leash as they passed by. The ska crowd is there to dance though, and couldn’t be further from the image that is often attached to them. They’re (music) lovers, not fighters.



Big Fat Panda were the ideal opening act. More polished than in previous years, they’ve developed into a really great, energetic act. Their rhythm section was cooking up a fairly healthy skank until they were interrupted mid-song by that alarm and it would be 40 minutes or so before the Fire Brigade allowed everyone back into the building. In order to keep things on track, BFP sadly never made it back to the stage.


The Amphetameanies were luckier. With the crowd returning to the venue and warmed up by the selection of vintage ska from the DJ, they hit the ground running and had everyone dancing until their final number. Tracks from current album ‘Last Chance Bordello’ were played at a frantic pace, giving the event a belated lift-off.


The most eagerly-anticipated act of the night was Bombskare. Playing their first Seaside Ska, they were to all intents the unofficial headline act. Recent winners of the BBC’s search for the ‘Best Part-Time Band In Britain’, Bombskare showed everyone why they were worthy winners. They tore the roof off the Hall with a set of furiously-played punky ska. Their brass section was super-tight, a non-stop dancing mess of tangled trumpets and trombones. The twin guitars, one white with black detail, the other black with white detail provided ideal symmetry to the sound.



Focal point, vocalist Andy P was a whirlwind of scissor kicks, bouncing knees and running on the spot. Holding onto his pork pie hat for dear life, he drove the band faster and faster until they could give no more. I’d urge you to check them out as soon as you can.


The evening was rounded of in fine style by seasoned veterans Esperanza. In a nice touch, they invited Big Fat Panda’s Andy Laidlaw onto the stage and between them cooked up an excellent version of the old ska standard Monkey Man.


The ska scene is a real subculture, with people from all walks of life dressed similarly and indistinguishable from the bands performing. There’s unity and equality. Despite the laddish appeal of the music, much of it is played by women. Collectively, everyone there just wants to have a good time. Watching a band such as Bombskare in action, clearly having the time of their life, it can’t fail to energise the audience. Seaside Ska was once again a terrific success. Already, we’re looking forward to next year’s event.



Browse By Category