Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pre-Order The Selecter's New Album "Daylight"/See the "Frontline" Video

You can now pre-order The Selecter's new album Daylight (the fourth from this iteration of the band), which will be released on October 6, 2017 on CD, heavyweight vinyl, and digital download. As we previously noted, the band already has issued the first digital single off the record, "Frontline" (see the official music video below).

The quality control of The Selecter's recent albums has been undeniably high (see our review of Subculture), so my gut feeling (reinforced by the amazing "Frontline") is that this one will be a keeper, as well. (I've pre-ordered the vinyl, which will may be hard to find in the US...)



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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Summer/Fall 2017 Ska Calendar #49

Long live The Slits!
Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

The Dirty Notion, The Applecores, plus DJ Duff

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (close to Avenue B)
New York, NY
No cover, but bring $ for when we pass the bucket for each band.
21+

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Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

Brown Rice Family, DJ Duct Tape

Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge
155 Water Street
Dumbo, Brooklyn
Free!

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Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

The Wailers, The Far East

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25

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Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Third World

Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk
3052 West 21st Street
Brooklyn, NY
$108

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Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

NYC Ska Orchestra

Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
Queens, NY
FREE with Garden Admission: Adults – $6; Seniors (age 62+) – $4; Students with ID – $4; Children (ages 4 to 12) – $2; Children (3 and under) – FREE; Members – FREE.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Aquabats

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25-$125

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones w/Mephiskapheles, Vic Ruggiero

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY
$25.50-$35.00
18+

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Far East, The Steady 45s, DJ Agent Jay

Cape House
2 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Beat Brigade, Joker's Republic

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
16702 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Park
Free!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

The Selecter, Rude Boy George, The Pandemics

Knitting Factory Brooklyn
361 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$30 in advance/$35 day of show
All ages!

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Sunday, August 13, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

King Yellowman and the Sagittarius Band

B.B. King's
237 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
$22.50 (and up)

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Fishbone

The Harbor Lights Yacht
Departs from: East 23rd Street and the FDR Drive
New York, NY
$39/21+

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

Black Uhuru

B.B. King's
237 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
$25 in advance/$30 day of show
All ages!

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

New Single ("Frontline"), Album ("Daylight"), and US Tour from The Selecter

(by Steve Shafer)

The Selecter with Pauline Black and Arthur "Gaps" Hendrickson have just released the winning new digital single "Frontline" to promote their upcoming album Daylight, which will be issued on October 6, 2017. 

Picking up where the powerful "Ghost Town"-like "Breakdown" left off (which is from their recent Subculture album, read The Duff Guide to Ska review here), the wildly catchy "Frontline" is critical of our smartphone/social media addicted society, where we have significantly more access to information and each other than ever before in the history of humanity, but actually seem to be increasingly disconnected, numb, and apathetic as a result. "Frontline's" reference to the extrajudicial/racial police killing of Eric Garner makes it also a call for real, in-person protesting and organizing for social justice and change--not Facebook posts that float without impact in the ether of cyberspace.

"Frontline, out on the street
Frontline, out on the street

Don't get me started
I'm all in a rush
You want to push me
Under a bus

I'm feeling restless
I need to believe
In something more
Than I want to stay free

My mind is full
My heart is empty
It's hard to live
In a world of plenty

The more I see
The less I feel
You sell me dreams
But they're not real

Frontline, out on the street
Frontline, out on the street

I feel a hunger
A hunger in me
I saw a man
Pushed off his feet

He tried to be
All he could be
He shouted out
"Now, I can't breathe!"

My mind is full
My heart is empty
It's hard to live
In a world of plenty

The more I see
The less I feel
You sell me dreams
But they're not real

Frontline, out on the street
Frontline, out on the street

I'm nobody's, nobody's hashtag
Ever the mighty shall fall
I'm nobody's, nobody's hashtag
Nobody's hashtag at all"

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The Selecter's "Frontline" is available from these digital retailers (and it would make a great 7" vinyl single...):

iTunes - http://po.st/frontlineitunes
Amazon - http://po.st/frontlineamazon
Spotify - http://po.st/frontlinespotify

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The Selecter will be touring the USA and Canada this August (see dates and venues above in the image). The NYC show also features openers Rude Boy George (who also are playing the Fairfield, CT date) and The Pandemics. If The Selecter are coming anywhere near you, make sure to catch their performance--they're amazingly good these days (here's my write-up of their show in NYC last fall as proof).

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: King Kong 4 "There's Not Much That You or I Can Do About It," Jackie Mittoo "Striker Showcase"

(Reviews by Steve Shafer)

King Kong 4 There's Not Much That You or I Can Do About It (Five-track digital EP, Winterbeard Records, 2017): I saw the harrowing movie version of Nevil Shute's post-World War III/doomsday novel "On the Beach" (where the last bits of humanity in Melbourne, Australia wait for the the nuclear fallout to reach and kill them--though most of the characters opt out via suicide pills, rather than suffering an agonizing death due to radiation poisoning) while in middle school at the end of the 1970s, when nuclear armageddon was a terrifyingly real possibility (and kept me up at nights). While King Kong 4's There's Not Much That You or I Can Do About It EP and its song titles are all taken from Shute's bleak novel (note the mushroom clouds in the EP cover art), all of their instrumental tracks are actually pleasantly bright and cheery. "Going a Bit Mad in Our Own Way" (with its incredible ice rink organ line), "To Lose Before You Start" (which features samples of President Harry Truman talking about bombing Hiroshima), and "Sitting Behind the Wheel of Her Car" (plus two dub versions) are fantastic spaghetti Western ska tracks (appropriate, given America's cowboy image/mythology and notoriety as the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war). One imagines the KK4 up in Toronto, watching in resigned horror as its destabilized and unpredictable superpower neighbor wreaks havoc on the world, but opting to keep on creating (life-affirming) music rather than giving into helplessness and despair.

Jackie Mittoo Striker Showcase (2xCD, 17 North Parade/VP Records, 2017): Back in the latter half of the 70s, producer Bunny "Striker" Lee arranged for Studio One's former musical director, arranger, and master keyboardist Jackie Mittoo (Skatalites, Soul Vendors/Brothers, Sound Dimension) to depart his adopted Toronto for the UK and JA to re-record/re-interpret many of his seminal ridders that he created for Coxsone Dodd in the 1960s ("Hot Milk," "Ram Jam," and dozens more) for a series of albums: The Keyboard King (1977), Hot Blood (1977), Showcase (1978), and In Cold Blood (1978). For these wonderfully loose, warm, and funky recordings, Mittoo was backed by a stellar band that included Sly Dunbar on drums, Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Winston Wright and Ansel Collins on piano, Earl "Chinna" Smith on guitar, and Tony Chin, Winston "Bo Pee" Bowen, Geoffrey Chung, and Carl Harvey on rhythm guitar--all providing Mittoo with the rock solid roots foundation for him to work his extraordinary keyboard magic. Even if you picked up Blood and Fire's Champion in the Arena, 1976-1977 back in 2003, which contains most of what's on the first half of this release, you'll want this comp for its second CD. You can never have enough Jackie Mittoo in your collection.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Summer/Fall 2017 Ska Calendar #48

Photo by Janette Beckman
Friday, June 9, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Specials, The Far East

Brooklyn Steel
319 Frost Street
Brooklyn, NY
$50/16+

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Saturday, June 10, 2017 @ 9:00 pm (2 sets!)

Larry McDonald's 80th Birthday Party w/Dave Hillyard and the Rocksteady 7, plus DJ One Hundred Decibels

Hank's Saloon
46 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$8

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Saturday, June 10, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

Alla Spina, Beat Brigade, The Screw Ups, The Oneness

Legion Bar
790 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$5

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Sunday, June 18, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Protoje

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25-$28

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Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Slackers

Rocks Off Concert Cruise
The Liberty Belle
299 South Street
New York, NY
$30/21+

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Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

Hub City Stompers, 45 Adapters, Hardknocks, Vinny and the Hooligans

Cape House
2 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$10/21+

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Saturday, July 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Reggay Lords

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
16702 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Park
Free!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

The Wailing Souls

B.B. King's
237 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
$25 in advance/$30 day of show
All ages!

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Saturday, July 8, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Desorden Publico, Los Mesoneros

SOB's
204 Varick Street
New York, NY
$30-$35/21+

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Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

The Dirty Notion, The Applecores, Barbicide, plus DJ Duff

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (close to Avenue B)
New York, NY
No cover, but bring $ for when we pass the bucket.
21+

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Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

Brown Rice Family, DJ Duct Tape

Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge
155 Water Street
Dumbo, Brooklyn
Free!

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Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Third World

Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk
3052 West 21st Street
Brooklyn, NY
$108

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Sunday, July 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

NYC Ska Orchestra

Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main Street
Queens, NY
FREE with Garden Admission: Adults – $6; Seniors (age 62+) – $4; Students with ID – $4; Children (ages 4 to 12) – $2; Children (3 and under) – FREE; Members – FREE.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Aquabats

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25-$125

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street
New York, NY
$25.50-$35.00
18+

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Beat Brigade

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
16702 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Park
Free!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

The Selecter, Rude Boy George, The Pandemics

Knitting Factory Brooklyn
361 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$30 in advance/$35 day of show
All ages!

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

Black Uhuru

B.B. King's
237 West 42nd Street,
New York, NY
$25 in advance/$30 day of show
All ages!

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Duff Guide to Ska Fast Takes: Hopeton Lewis "There She Goes" b/w Vin Gordon and The Supersonics "Reggay Trombone," Johnny Clarke and the Flying Vipers "Highest Region" b/w "Highest Version," Mungo's Hi Fi featuring Johnny Clarke "Rain Keeps Falling" b/w "Spring Shower Dub"

(Reviews by Steve Shafer)

Hopeton Lewis "There She Goes" b/w Vin Gordon and The Supersonics "Reggay Trombone" (heavyweight 7" vinyl single, Trojan Records, 2017): This limited edition Record Store Day 2017 release boasts two unreleased Duke Reid productions from Treasure Island's archives. As both cuts are fantastic, one wonders why they lay hidden until now (perhaps the almost ridiculous abundance of incredible music in JA at the time made it difficult to choose what to release?). Lewis' sprightly rocksteady track (love the combination of flute and sax here) masks the heartache of the lyrics: "There she goes/And I'm lonely once again/There she goes/And I don't know where she's going/But she's gone, gone, gone." "Reggay Trombone" spotlights Vin Gordon's t-bone chops as he's backed by Tommy McCook's Supersonics on this cheerful and lively early/skinhead reggae instrumental. (Copies are still out there to be had at reasonable prices.)

Johnny Clarke "Highest Region" b/w Flying Vipers "Highest Version" (green 7" vinyl single, Jump Up Records, 2017): Phenomenal roots singer Johnny Clarke is supported by Boston's reggae/dub masters Flying Vipers on this excellent single (unofficially titled Johnny Clarke Meets Flying Vipers). The atypical and unsettling beat and stripped-to-the-bone dubby instrumental backing on "Highest Region" provides a sharp contrast to Clarke's plaintive chant of "We want, we want, we want to go home/To Zion, away from Babylon" (the restlessness and unease in the music won't be calmed until there's deliverance from evil). Its dub "Highest Version" is even further deconstructed to great effect. This is definitely one of the more unusual dub releases you'll find this year and very much worth owning.

Mungo's Hi Fi featuring Johnny Clarke "Rain Keeps Falling" b/w "Spring Shower Dub" (7" vinyl single, Scotch Bonnet Records, 2017): For Record Store Day 2017, Glasgow-based Mungo's Hi Fi created a fantastically spare and seductive new roots riddim track for Johnny Clarke to sing his message of love over ("Rain keeps falling/And my body is calling/You're my one and only/I don't want to be lonely/You're my pride and joy/We were meant to be/Life is just for living/Love is what I'm giving"). Notably, this cut and its great dub version feature the "flying cymbals" that harken back to Clarke's first hit in 1974 with Bunny Lee, Earl Zero's "None Shall Escape the Judgement." As to be expected, Mungo's Hi Fi and Clarke deliver nothing short of the best.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend: Supernova International Ska Festival!

As many of you are already aware, there is a big, two-day ska fest coming up over the Memorial Day weekend--the Supernova International Ska Festival in Fredericksburg, VA (which is about an hour or so south of Washington, DC). There are many top acts that don't make to the East Coast with much frequency (if at all), like Derrick Morgan, The Aggrolites (with Greg Lee of Hepcat), Sonic Boom Six, The Skints, Monty Neysmith--and there are tons of amazing acts always worth seeing, including The Toasters, The Piestasters, Pilfers, Askultura, Chris Murray, Hub City Stompers, J. Navarro and the Traitors, Eastern Standard Time, The Scotch Bonnets, The Ladrones, The Bishops, The Snails, Sammy Kay, and more! Check out who's playing which day of the festival on the graphic below. All other details are on the festival website, which includes a handy festival FAQ page. There's also a (now sold-out) Friday night pre-festival party with Jump Up Records at the Spencer Devon Brewery, where they'll be screening the Legends of Ska movie (with filmmaker Brad Klein present), a CHema Skandal poster show, a Jump Up Records pop up shop, and DJ sets by Chuck Wren, Sonido Triton, and Darren Reggae! 


Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Duff Guide to Ska NYC Summer 2017 Ska Calendar #47

The great Laurel Aitken!
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

J. Navarro and The Traitors, Fuck It I Quit, Public Serpents

Cape House
2 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$12/21+

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Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Sister Nancy and Friends, Rice and Peas, Queen Majesty

Brooklyn Bowl
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$15/21+
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Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

Monty Neysmith Montgomery of Symarip, Consumata, The Bishops

Cape House
2 Knickerbocker Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$15/21+

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Saturday, June 3, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Ska/Punky/Reggae Party II w/The Rudie Crew, The Omega Men, Super Hi-Fi, Necrotic Society, Skum City, Curb Ya Horse, plus DJ Gorilla

Pista bandas unidas oficial
96-11 Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY
All ages

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Friday, June 9, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Specials, The Far East

Brooklyn Steel
319 Frost Street
Brooklyn, NY
$50/16+

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Saturday, June 10, 2017 @ 9:00 pm (2 sets!)

Larry McDonald's 80th Birthday Party w/Dave Hillyard and the Rocksteady 7, plus DJ One Hundred Decibels

Hank's Saloon
46 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$8

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Sunday, June 18, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Protoje

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25-$28

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Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Slackers

Rocks Off Concert Cruise
The Liberty Belle
299 South Street
New York, NY
$30/21+

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Saturday, July 1, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Reggay Lords

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
16702 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Park
Free!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

The Wailing Souls

BB Kings
237 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
$25 in advance/$30 day of show
All ages!

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Saturday, July 8, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

Desorden Publico, Los Mesoneros

SOB's
204 Varick Street
New York, NY
$30-$35/21+

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Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 8:00 pm

The Dirty Notion and Special Guests, plus DJ Duff

Otto's Shrunken Head
538 East 14th Street (close to Avenue B)
New York, NY
No cover, but bring $ for when we pass the bucket.
21+

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Thursday, July 13, 2017 @ 6:00 pm

Brown Rice Family, DJ Duct Tape

Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge
155 Water Street
Dumbo, Brooklyn
Free!

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Saturday, July 16, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Third World

Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk
3052 West 21st Street
Brooklyn, NY
$108

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm

The Aquabats

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York, NY
$25-$125

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

Beat Brigade

Riis Park Beach Bazaar
16702 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Rockaway Park
Free!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017 @ 7:30 pm

The Selecter

Knitting Factory Brooklyn
361 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
$30 in advance/$35 day of show
All ages!

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Help Save the London International Ska Festival!

Here's a guest post from Sean Flowerdew of Pama International and the London International Ska Festival. Please consider becoming a patron of this amazing and venerable ska festival (I have!)...

Save The London Intl Ska Festival - Become a patron today!

My name is Sean Flowerdew. I founded and run The London Int’l Ska Festival. Since it's launch in 1988, I have strived to create an unique and world class event, that does justice to the world of ska, rocksteady, reggae, 2 Tone and beyond. I’m honoured to have hosted hundreds of bands and DJs at some of the best venues London has to offer for 29 years!

Year on year, the festival grows and attracts more people from all over the world. It has always astonished me that someone would fly from another continent for a weekend. It is truly fantastic to see so many international friendships, relationships, marriages and even families be born out of our festival.

Sadly, it has become increasingly difficult to single handedly maintain the festival. A couple of bad financial years for the festival in 2011 and 2012 set me back personally by tens of thousands of pounds. Since then any profit just pays off past years debts. To make matters worse, what is a full time job can never provide a wage.

I love the festival. I love programming it. More then anything I want to keep the festival going and want it to grow in the way I know it can, but personally carrying debts year to year, which are now in excess of £79,000, has taken it’s toll. It has become impossible to fund the festival solely by myself.

To keep the London Intl Ska Festival not only alive, but continuing to thrive, I need to clear the debts. I have thought long and hard about seeking companies to invest or getting sponsorship but I know this would change the nature and integrity of what is a truly independent festival.

So, I’m reaching out to you, friends of the festival and fans of all things ska. I need your help. Today I am launching a patron scheme, whereby you can support the festival and ensure it’s survival and growth.

I'm not asking for donations (although anything helps). I'm asking you to become part of the festival and invest in it. For now, we’ve come up with four ways of supporting our festival, all based around becoming a patron.

Not only do your your money, but you can sleep happy in the knowledge that you've become part of, and supported what is a vital and historical festival.

Become a patron of The London Intl Ska Festival

Become of patron for as little as £3 
Every little bit helps--a this level you will receive the newly launched Help Save LISF pin badge. Price includes postage anywhere in the world.

Become a patron for £25

For this your name will be listed in the 2018/30th Anniversary Ska Festival book & you will receive a set of our 6 exclusive football team postcards.

Become a patron for £40
For this your name will be listed in the 2018/30th Anniversary Ska Festival book. You will also recieve a set of our 6 football team postcards and an exclusive screen printed t-shirt, designed by Peter O’Toole.

Become a patron for £147.50 (ska festival wristband ticket option)
For this your name will be listed in the 2018/30th Anniversary Ska Festival book. You will also recieve a set of our 6 football team postcards and an exclusive screen printed t-shirt, designed by Peter O’Toole. AND a wristband ticket to The London International Ska Festival 2018. The wristband ticket will get you into all the 2018 festival events.

The London Int’l Ska Festival 2018 will take place next Easter (29th March-1st April). If you can, please help us to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in the style we’ve all become accustomed to.

Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting!

Sean Flowerdew
The London Int’l Ska Festival

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