Brighton and Hove News » Brighton gets skanking

Dakka Skanks live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

DAKKA SKANKS + DAN COX & THE BLACKBIRDS – PRINCE ALBERT, BRIGHTON 15.02.19

Dakka Skanks! Well what can you say about Brighton’s very own 5-piece ska/dub/reggae rhythm aficionados. I’ve seen them once before as support to Chainska Brassika last November and absolutely loved ‘em. Read our review HERE.

Dakka Skanks live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

Tonight, they have made the grade as they are the headliners. Vocalist and melodica player Clara Byrne met drummer/percussionist Henry Pascoe-Smith in Brighton at music college. They formed the band in 2016 with the addition of Josh Bowes (rhythm guitar, vocals), Alex Rushmer (bass) and Connor Jackaman (lead guitar).

Dakka Skanks live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

To me they are brilliant, talented musicians and gel as a band who have come from different backgrounds and varying musical tastes. The bands lyrics are frequently refer to serious social issues and often reflect Clara’s life experiences. She informed us that said she got introduced to Ska by two skinheads in Luton and was hooked ever since. The band members all bring their own unique personality to the Ska genre, adding grime, dub and other influences.

Dakka Skanks live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

In July 2017 the band released theirRevolution single as well as a limited edited 7” single called Skinhead Boy, which was followed by their 4-track EP ‘Ska Rhythm in January last year. The 8th of September 2018 was a milestone date for the band as they released their well received debut 9-tune album on Subcultz Records entitledRoad To Brighton Pier’. You can purchase the album HERE and listen to them HERE.

Dakka Skanks live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

This evening, their intro was ‘Dakka Dakka’ which really got the party ska’ted! Clara and Josh were as usual on shared vocals with their fab brand of toastin’, rappin’ and singing stylee. Josh with his London lingo delivery sort of reminded me of Plan B. Especially liked him at the beginning of ‘Propaganda’ and ‘Money’ and with Clara on the melodica, giving it such a dread sound (wow!). I liked ‘Elevate’ but to be honest, there were so many great tracks on offer tonight.

Dakka Skanks live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

Dakka Skanks are getting ready to head out for a headline European tour and so this is a band that is definitely going places! They have played alongside genre defining artists such as reggae legends Symarip and The Skatalites, Madness and Neville Staple and modern players across the board. They played the ska-mecca SKAMOUTH and House of Fun festival, performing two slots before the mighty Madness on their Saturday night headline. I really can’t ‘big up’ the band enough. They are well worth seeing live, even if you aren’t totally into Ska, as they’ll have you footstompin’ and skankin’ all night! Respect.

Tonight’s setlist is below and for more on Dakka Skanks click HERE.

Dakka Skanks setlist (pic Karl Smith)

Support this evening came from Brighton’s very own Dan Cox & The Blackbirds who are Dan Cox (vocals/guitar/keys), James Brett (bass/vocals) and George Blackbird (drums).

Dan Cox & The Blackbirds live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

What a lovely bunch of lads, really nice, unassuming, arguably the Clark Kent’s of the indie (punky) rock world. Although they did forget their glasses and couldn’t clearly see the playlist, which they did joke about, quite endearing really – lol.

They are as advertised on their Facebook page as Indie Brit Pop. Tonight they warmed us up with their catchy lyrics, lovely hooks and delicious beats, which ran throughout the whole of their set.

Dan Cox & The Blackbirds live at the Prince Albert, Brighton 15.02.19 (pic Karl Smith)

Then mid way through Clark Kent disappeared and Superman arrived with tracks like ‘Pretender’ and ‘Bow Out’ which had more punky, riotous edge!!! So after a pleasant start to their set, they heated things up in the middle and then really cranked it up at the end. I really warmed to these guys and their music. On a personal note, I would love to see them getting a bit more angst. A fitting end to set up for Dakka Skanks.

Tonight’s setlist is below and listen to Dan Cox & The Blackbirds HERE and more info on the band HERE.

Dan Cox & The Blackbirds setlist (pic Karl Smith)

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