London International Ska Festival 2012

July 9, 2012

Ska has triumphed over many adversities to stay in the popular music consciousness since it slipped from fashion in 1960s Jamaica. Likewise the progress of Sean Flowerdew‘s revived London International Ska Festival reflects a similar determination to give this often ignored subculture a platform in such a musically competitive country as the UK.

London Ska Festival 2012

The second annual edition this May bank holiday weekend had its fare share of both triumph and adversity. The former included wonderful performances by the legendary Pioneers and connoisseurs’ veteran Freddie Notes. The latter: Dandy Livingstone, who, returning to perform in London for the first time in 40 years, disappeared just hours before he was due to take the stage as the headline act on the Friday. On top of the cancellation by Sunday night’s headliners – flamboyant eclectic ska funk punk outfit, Fishbone, a month earlier (thanks to a knee injury by frontman Angelo Moore) – the disappointment for day ticket buyers was bitter. Yet for a large contingent of diehard ska fans, many from abroad, the weekend remained a chance to make friends and see a variety of bands who march in off-beat lockstep under the ska banner. Moreover, triumph and adversity came together in the way Rico, Dave Barker and the Skints made the best of poor fortune – but more of that later.

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