The Skatalites live in Leeds

  • Wednesday | 23.05.12
  • 8.00pm
  • Band on the Wall, Manchester


The pioneering and hugely influential rocksteady ska legends The Skatalites live at The Wardrobe, Leeds,  performing all their hits and more. From ‘Guns of Navarone’ and ‘Confucious’ to ‘Man in the Street’ expect them all at what promises to be a serious party night.

Officially formed in 1964, the musicians who made up the original Skatalites had been playing together as a studio band for the greatest producers around: Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid & Vincent Chin in various combinations since the 50’s. Early Studio One recordings were the first ‘Skatalites’ songs, including Simmer Down for Bob Marley (his first #1 Jamaican hit). 

As set musicians, The Skatalites backed the top singers of the day. Stranger Cole, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Toots and The Maytals, Delroy Wilson, Bob Marley andThe Wailers, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff are but a few who benefited from the tight rhythms cultivated by the new ska collective.

As a studio force, the band recorded all on one track with the singer on another, ‘one-take’ recording. These conditions forged a union among the musicians that could result in only one logical conclusion, to form their own band. Roland Alphonso, Johnny Moore, Lester Sterling, Don Drummond, Lloyd Knibb, Lloyd Brevett, Jerome Hinds, and Jackie Mittoo began working together regularly in the early sixties and formed The Skatalites in Spring of 1964. They recruited Tommy McCookfrom his stint as a bandleader in the Bahamas, giving the group that ‘big band’ feel so popular at the time among the hotel circuit and dancehalls.

In the late 70’s, 2-Tone ska revival groups like The Specials, Madness, The Beat, and The Selecter kept the beat alive and well. Then, in the 80’s (and ever since), their American counterparts spawned a ‘third wave’ and beyond… Groups like The Slackers, HepCat, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt, David Hillyard and The Rocksteady 7, The Toasters and King Django, all pay tribute to The Skatalites as a primary influence. This new generation have collectively opened for and played with The Skatalites, raising awareness and maintaining the fan base for a never-ending wave of ska. Now come and enjoy the original pioneers of ska live in Leeds.

This event will begin at 8pm but The Wardrobe Cafe Bar is open earlier for delicious food and drinks. 

A Band on the Wall Fundraiser Event.