Quality ska gigs are always a rarity, and they donít come much better than RX Bandits, and having seen them in Portsmouth the week before, I knew I was in for a treat. I wasn't too excited about seeing Howard's Alias as last time I saw them about a year ago I wasn't too impressed.
Despite my preconceptions however, halfway through my first beer, Howard's Alias started to play and I was very pleasantly surprised. They seemed a lot punkier than I remember, with a lot more aggression. I donít know if they have completley changed or not but the less ska, more hardcore approach was definitly getting my attention in a big way. Unfortunatley I don't know any song titles to praise any particular songs, but quite frankly I donít need to, the whole set was brilliant, I couldn't recommend them enough.
Next up were a band who I THINK were called DESA, but please donít hold me to that. They were not ska (which is not a bad thing), they essentially were a post-hardcore act, which reminded me a little bit of boysetsfire. I can't say im too huge a fan of boysetsfire, neither of this band, who made me feel quite bored on many occasions during their set, with their yawn-inspiring, very done-before antics. I did, however speak to two of them afterwards and they were really cool guys, funny as hell, which raised my view of them somewhat. 20 minutes a pint of export later the greatly anticipated RX Bandits came to the stage. They are possibly one of the only ska bands to succesfully mix ska, reggae, dub and a little punk thrown in and absolutley blow your mind beyond belief. They really are in the ranks of bands such as sublime. They absolutley rocked the crowd's world, making all but a small few skank away the whole set, playing with such amazing energy you could just not help but feel good and I was just compelled by my feet to go and have a dance.
Although disappointed to not hear them play Secret Agent Man, one of my favorites, they played an overall blinding set, making my night for the
second time in just over a week. A thoroughly enjoyable night for everyone I should imagine, if not, there's something wrong with you. i just hope over the summer there are more gigs like it.