zaterdag 7 juli 2012

Ska-pop-punk heaven: The Resignators with The Shakedown 8 in the Q-Bus in Leiden

Yes, I have an album or two made by The Specials, a single by The Selector and The (English) Beat and a load of Madness albums and singles, even Ian Dury & The Blockheads, if you allow me to add him to this list, but a real 2Tone fan? No, I was too much into Pink Floyd in 1979 to really get into this type of music. Since then I may have picked up an MP3 album by Rancid, but I think that's about it. Here I was sitting on a Friday early evening drinking a beer and heard this soundcheck, all "Whoa whoa" under the refrains and knew where I was going to be later that evening, July 6, called a friend and had a great time.

You can listen to The Shakedown 8 here.

It all started off with The Shakedown 8, a Dutch band with one foot cemented so firmly into ska, that it allows them to explore almost everything else, as long as the backbeat is within hearing distance. Proud winners of a recent The Special contest, they kicked off their show rather hesitantly. It was o.k,. but it didn't exactly invite me to move more that the little toes on my feet, let alone excite me. That allows watching what happens on stage. The very tight drummer Bas keeps up the rhythm, drumming very economical. Both he and bass player Micha, a tiny jump-around, look like the grown up versions of Heidi's Peter with blond beards and Tirol like hats. An accordion doing much of the soloing in the first songs and a guitar keeping up up strokes fiercely and a keyboard laying down the accents in between. Singer Tak tried desperately to get something going in the fairly empty Q-Bus.

Then two things started happening. The Shakedown 8 built up their set superbly. More variation, more energy and better songs. People did start moving and jumping around. The second thing was that more and more people started showing up, the youth creating a moshpit in front of the stage. The band's songs were so good that the cover of 'Gangsters' was just another good, but familiar, song being played. Concluding, if you're in need of a good, up-tempo party, this band is your band: The Shakedown 8.

You can listen to The Resignators'  'See you in hell' here.

Bruce, foto Wo.
Time for the main act. The Resignators, from Melbourne, Victoria in Australia. An septet, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet, trombone and singer, but five voices on their "Attack of the killing cherries European tour". The band played so well that it made me forget how warm it was inside the Q-Bus this evening. With the intensity of Larry & his Flask, who in the past two months shook Leiden's foundation to its core twice. The Resignators just did that again, but from their specific angle, ska punk. At least the core of Leiden knew what was happening to it this time.

From the very first song the band let it rip and got a response in kind from the audience. The rhythm section of The Resignators is so tight. Shaky is a great drummer, very busy, but never missing a beat, while kilt clad bass player Bruce pumps the rhythm in such a smooth, round sound. This allows the trombone and trumpet to be all over the place, adding in a tremendous way to the party. Maybe it's odd, but I was thinking for half of the time about Dexys Midnight Runners (first album), allowing for the differences between ska punk and blue-eyed northern soul of course. The up-beat was all over the place this evening, where it should be in a band like this. So, so much fun.
Captain Focus, foto Wo.

The Resignators is not your everyday band either. Guitarist Bruce, with his top hat on, looking like a pallbearer, is maybe 35 years older than the youngest member in the band and, so I was told, one of the founding members of Gwar in the 80ties. The singer wears a suit with bright stripes, the bass player a kilt. Keyboard player Stacy looks like a punk girl with dreadlocks from 1977, a 19th century gentleman plays the trumpet. So most have something that sets them apart on stage. Nothing does when they play together as they seem to become one breathing entity. That is what it's all about: the music and they have their niche in the industry down to the last note. Melody, refrains, whoa's, fun, energy and great horns that make up great songs. There was no one not moving who was standing on his or her feet. It was over all to soon.
Steve, foto Wo.

Coming back for an encore with a song by their heroes Rancid and, very surprising, a cover from one of Australia's (and New Zealand's) best known bands: Crowded House. 'Now were getting somewhere'. Keep this up The Resignators and this song will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Great show, great evening and glad to have been there.


You can order The Shakedown 8 ep here

You can order See you in hell here

or here

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