Buster Blood Vessel & Bad Manners Plus support
The SKAlectrics at Leamington Assembly 26/10/18.
I was especially pleased to be reviewing this gig as my good friends The SKAlectrics from Banbury, Oxfordshire were called in as a support last minute, and they were very excited to be there. They are one of the best 2 Tone and Ska bands around and they play covers of Madness, Specials and the like with an authenticity and lots of energy. The band are led by founding member Neil Parker Drummer, and all-round baby sitter, and also the landlord of the famous Jack Daniels pub The Dolphin with a very impressive black and white 2 Tone drumkit to boot. Their lead singer is the charismatic Daz Atkinson, guitar Tom Bodfish, Bass John Barlow, Keys Nick Jasco, and the impressive brass section Rhys Owens Trumpet, and the female of the band Dionne Sambrook. They have a huge following and many fans had come down to see them tonight: the sound was excellent and their thirty-minute set seemed to fly by. If you’re ever Banbury way also look out also for a black van emblazoned with their name and decals, the wonderfully named Nutty Bus.
Bad Manners had a bad night tonight plagued by problems, firstly breaking down and arriving late and not being able to do a full sound check didn’t help and also having to borrow Neil’s drumkit which I’m sure he didn’t mind, Buster in his brilliant skulls print jacket came on stage to massive cheers but it wasn’t long before the problems started, to sum it up he eventually went through six microphones by the end of the night and despite this he managed to entertain the crowd even though sometimes his vocals couldn’t be heard. There were plenty of times throughout the set where he showed off his historic immense tongue and the band’s sound all night was excellent and helped Buster to get through, but you could see his frustration gradually building as the gig went on. As I say, despite all the problems, Buster being the legend he is sang all the Bad Manners favourites, and had the audience that didn’t seem to bother too much about the sound and were just there to see the man himself; singing along to My Girl Lollipop, Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu, and despite being a lot slimmer now still showed his belly on the classics Fatty Fat and Lip Up Fatty to cries of “YOU FAT BASTARD from the crowd which brought a massive smile to Busters face. The room erupted when the chorus “WHEN I FIND HER IM GONNA KILL HER” from the classic song Lorraine echoed through the hall, but I really felt sorry for Buster on songs like Woolly Bully and Sally Brown where he was screaming to get his voice heard as the mics kept breaking down: the look he gave the sound booth I thought to my self if he finds the soundman he’s gonna kill him! The highlight of the night for me and just showed you the humour, or was it the frustration of Buster? was on Can’t Take My Eyes Off You when finally, Buster had in his hands a decent microphone and wanted to sing the song slowly and the drummer was playing way too fast for him, he turned, and said “slow down, have you got somewhere to go”. Buster man you are still a legend and despite the problems you had tonight you delivered a stellar show.
I spoke to Buster after the set was over and he was relaxing downstairs, he told me he is not normally critical of himself but he wasn’t happy the way the show went tonight; he’d struggled to enjoy it. I know the crowd were happy he said, but I didn’t give it all I could’ve. That shows the character of the man: a wonderful performer and a real gentleman. I look forward to the next time and hopefully mate you will only need one mic.
Review by Dave Martin pics by Carol Henson aka LadyGigger.
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