Tag Archives: bad manners

The SkaSouls live at the Riverside Club, Staines

Knees up, trumpets down, shades on – let’s skavoovie!

After their phenomenal success, playing the hottest gig of the year, at The Hobgoblin, Staines last week – the SkaSouls went on to sell out the Staines Riverside Club on 17th Feb as well ( A charity performance in aid of the Joshua Deller Appeal).  We went along to find out what all the fuss was about.

On the glittery stage were six venerable musicians who all share a wide ranging musical ability, and each possesses the kind of musical experience and prowess that other bands merely fantasize about. Playing in various bands on the local and National scene before embarking on this Ska-shaped project back in the Summer of last year, these boys have since enjoyed a growing popularity as this town’s favourite 2-tone party band. And they already possess an enviable reputation for playing those authentically sweet Jamaican-style grooves and sweaty urban ska standards that you and I loved in the 80s – with covers of all your favourite songs from bands like  ‘The Specials’,  ‘Bad Manners’ and ‘Madness’.

After a raucous start at this Riverside venue, the band thundered and roared into their set like a Louisiana rainstorm – stopping for nothing – as they pelted out hit after hit. A large space was kept free to dance, and by the second song the audience was already up and dancing to the vibes. This band is wild. Those skutter-bus salt-chip shavings of sound soon start to set your world on fire.

Early numbers included ‘My Girl Lollipop’ (attributed to ‘Bad Manners’) but originally a doo-wop number for The Cadillacs’s before becoming a phenomenal hit for ‘Millie Small’ back in 1964 (as My Boy Lollipop). This song came alive with groovy flares of trumpet from Nick and thumping bass from Huw. But during the set we were also delectably teased with some delightful surprises like Chuck Berry’s  “You Never Can Tell”  or  Dexys Midnight Runners tribute to ram-jam Soul-Man Geno Washington “Geno”, upon which lead vocalist Lee sounds like vintage David Essex (in a good way, I must emphasise.)

But it is on the big tribal classix like “Gangsters” that this band really thrives and the audience becomes visibly alive.

This is two-tone heaven as the twin horns ( Nick on Trumpet and Allan on Trombone) flame and rip into your soul, the chuttering guitars frizzle your senses, the walkabout bass-lines juggle your brain and the ka-ching percussion rattles your emotions. And even creepy sound effects for songs like “Ghost Town” sound as genuinely disturbing, gritty and as ghoulish as you would expect.

Then we shoed-off for a skank doing the “Pressure Drop” (The Trojan-shaped hit from  Toots and the Maytals). This song and others in the SkaSouls repertoire feature those great wallowing Belushi-sized vocals from Lee and some impressive backing vocals from the other band members. Plus lumbering great chunks of trumpet and trombone and golden nuggets of pound-for-pound bass. Then we enjoyed “The Guns of Navarone” which was originally performed by ‘The Skatalites’ and later covered by ‘The Specials’. This tune was a thumping great success from beginning to end. And the amazing lead guitar from Ben shines out on this and other songs.

After an interval, to catch our breaths, the band raced into those endearing and catchy ska-pop standards we all loved – “Baggy Trousers” (Madnesss) and Lee Thompson’s tribute to Prince Buster “The Prince” – from which “Madness” took their name. And the incredibly structured “Night Boat to Cairo” (this song used to be a bit of an anthem for Lee’s much-loved old party band – FoulPlay.)

And in the final flourish we also enjoyed a thriving “Shame & Scandal” that started life as a hit for Lance Percival (of all people) before becoming an early ska-hit for Peter Tosh with the Skatalites – before being ‘re-born’ by ‘Madness’ during the new wave of British ska. And, of-course, we had the classic and superbly syncopated song “Israelites” (1969 Desmond Dekker.)

It was just a case of getting your knees up, trumpets down, shades on and skiffling and skadoodling the night away. Sheer bliss!

This is Lee Ridley’s dream outfit of a band, the vision he had wanted to create for years, but who would have thought that it could ever percolate into something as refreshing and uplifting as this?  Welcome to the chapel of living rhythm and holy beat ‘cos these madcap skasters are here to jump-start your weekend.  Do not take your eyes off this band …. and catch ‘em live as soon as you possibly can.

© Neil_Mach
February 2011

This concert was a charity show for the Joshua Deller Appeal – the event raised over £1200 for little Joshclick here to donate too

Band Link:


Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

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5 Things – This Week in Staines


Energetic Ska Band – Live in Staines

TrueBeat Staines

Mar 26 2009


TrueBeat are refreshing new ska band from West London breaking onto the scene as ska makes a real comeback.

Their sound is lively and energetic with a wide range of influences – so put on your skankin shoes as this is real get on the dance floor …

SKA! They have recently recorded their first EP which has had a fantastic reception and they are definitely a band to keep a close eye on. … they went down a treat last time they were in town so don’t miss ’em this time!



Buckle Up Staines



Classic Rock Power Trio…  Live at Windsor

Riff Raff - Windsor

Riff Raff
Mar 27 2009
Old Ticket Hall

Classic Rock is the best music on the planet.  Period.

RIFF RAFF show it due respect with a no-nonsense delivery that tells it like it is – straight ahead rock from the classic power trio format, superbly played. They pay tribute to (but don’t copy) some of the best known (and some less obvious) rock tunes. With former pro credentials and years of experience working throughout Europe and elsewhere, in diverse acts, RIFF RAFF really know what they are doing – telling the story of rock, from its sixties beginnings, through the “classic” glory years, and up to the nineties.

If you enjoy Led Zeppelin, Free, Wishbone Ash, Cream and their contemporaries, you’re going to love RIFF RAFF.




Melodic Indie Pop- Live in Staines

Audio Video Disco at Staines

Audio Video Disco
Mar 29 2009

Audio.Video.Disco. are a new breath of fresh air to the indie, pop genre, not afraid of writing catchy melodies and annoyingly difficult to pigeon-hole, they are a cut-above the norm.

Formed mid-way through 2007 when duo Matt O’Daly and Richard Berkshire moved away from their acoustic roots and decided to start a proper band. In stepped Adam Linton (bass) and Tom Smith (drums). The line-up was complete.

Now having already played alongside Alphabeat, a set at the illustrious Clapham Grand and a headline show at the Astoria 2, this band have already attracted the attention of producer/engineer Phil English. The band recorded their current EP at
Phil’s Alexander Sound Studio in Milton Keynes.

Their EP launch was a huge sell out success and the band sold more tickets than when Hard-Fi played the same venue. Now with a solid fan base built up over the past year the band are set to make some serious waves amongst the current crop of bands coming out of the West-London area.



Buckle Up Staines



Exciting Blues Rock – Live Ascot

Robin BiBi Band at Ascot

Robin BiBi
Mar 28 2009

Because of the band’s growing reputation with a highly entertaining stage presentation, the Robin Bibi Band are becoming one of the busiest bands round this area and have succesfully broken into the festival scene.

The Bibi Band’s live line up is subject to occasional regional changes. Robin can be seen playing with some of the best musicians around – Geoff Cooper, Martin York, Paul Robinson, Chris Bellshaw, Pete Shaw, Jonathan Banks, Darby Todd and Ed Spevok. The tried and tested trio format gives each member the space to stretch out and express themselves musically.

It’s exuberant passionate, dynamic, exciting and fun! It’s music played straight from the heart, it will move your head, your heart and of course your feet!

Show will start at 8.45
Ticket cost: £8.00
Doors open from 7.30pm. £26 for 2 courses and entrance (£30 for 3 courses). Entrance for the bands is £8 but is strictly limited and on a first come first served basis. Entrance for dining or just the band INCLUDES free entrance to the nightclub




Tenor Sax Sounds –  Live Jazz at Ascot

Simon Spillet Quartet at Ascot

Simon Spillett
Mar 29 2009

Simon Spillett is a great tenor saxman and has been on the London scene for a few years now and already a favorite at JAGZ. Many years ago he even attended the jazz workshop at JAGZ. His band this week includes John Citchinson, piano, Andrew Cleyndert, bass, and Spike Wells, drums.

Sunday, 29th March
Show will start at 1pm to 3.30pm
Ticket cost: £6.00
Special – entrance and roast lunch £12




Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

5 Things – This Week in Staines


Naughty but Nice Punk Rock at Staines

Malloys at Staines

The Malloys
Feb 05 2009

The group was formed by Paul “Belch” Belcher (lead vocals), Matthew “Mush” Dalrymple (guitar) and Matthew “Bnudd” Early (drums), who were soon joined by Nick Feltham (bass).The Malloys went through a line-up change when Dalrymple fell ill, and was replaced on guitar by Chris “Savvy” Restrick. When Dalrymple got better, he re-joined the band as rhythm guitarist, but quit several month later for personal reasons.

The band initially gained prominence performing on the London live music circuit. With much label interest, they declined any offers and decided to form they own independent record label Chestnut Road Records and released their debut EP Countries Crisis… The following year, the band recorded No One Likes Us with replacement guitarist Restrick now as full time member, and a year on from there the Naughty Naughty EP was released.

The fourth studio EP by the band will be recorded in late 2008/early 2009, and although an official release date has not been confirmed, it is rumoured to be out in February/March 2009.


The Malloys will be supported by TrueBeat

TrueBeat are refreshing new ska band from West London breaking onto the scene as ska makes a real comeback. Their sound is lively and energetic with a wide range of influences – so put on your skankin shoes as this is real get on the dance floor SKA! They have recently recorded their first EP which has had a fantastic reception and they are definitely a band to keep a close eye on.





Local 2-piece Musical Do-Gooders – Staines

Succotash at Staines

Feb 06 2009
Riverside Club

Mix together some mellow lyrics and solid acoustic guitar with a dash or two of meaningful elemental percussion and what have you got?  Staines favourite musical cocktail -Succotash!

When not working on their other major projects (Staines favourite bands Foulplay and Five Foot Something) these two charmers play as a wholesome twosome…witness the smooth sounds this week at Staines Riverside Club…

Staines Riverside Club Laleham Road Staines £3 entry



Master of Music  – Ascot

Frank Griffish Nonet

Frank Griffith

Feb 08 2009

Frank was originally from Oregon & lived in New York from 1980-95. Bachelor of Fine Arts from City College of New York & Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music. Now living in London. As a composer & arranger has worked with Jon Hendricks, Lionel Hampton, Ron Carter & the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. In the UK has written for NYJO, Tony Coe/Norma Winstone & Mark Nightingale. Has played with Jon Hendricks, Ron Carter, Jack McDuff, Mel Torme.

His nonet was established many years ago and has played many festivals. The musicians include Bob Martin, alto, Mick Foster, baritone, Henry Lowther, trumpet, trumpet, Martin Gladdish, trombone, Tim Lapthorn, piano, Paul Morgan, bass,and Paul Clavis, drums.

Upcoming shows

Sunday, 8th February
Show will start at 1pm
Ticket cost: £6.00
Special – entrance and roast lunch £12…


80’s & 90’s  Hits – Live Band – Live in Windsor

The Velvet Hearts

Velvet Hearts
Feb 06
Old Ticket Hall

The Velvet Hearts were born in 2007. Frustrated with the industry, the band started posting live performances of their gigs on the website YouTube. These videos achieved phenomenal success, notching up 300,000 hits in just six weeks, gathering more subscribers than megastars Gwen Stefani and Gorillaz.

Their unique style, killer hooks and emotive lyrics are a result of Newman and Jones’ songwriting partnership, a journey that began in the music room in their early school days.

The ballsy rock edged sound of The Hearts certainly pays homage to rootsy rock’n’roll, but they are more than just a blues-rock band, their songs are stooped in emotion and offer the listener something more than your token ‘rock band’.

Grammy award winning producer Mark Pastoria stumbled across the band on YouTube and word of The Velvet Hearts spread to his studio in Motown. Only a few weeks later The Velvet Hearts flew to Detroit and recorded their debut album ‘Into The World’.

Cost: £3


AC/DC to ZZ Top Classic Rock- Live in Egham

Blue Fuses Crown Egham

Blue Fuses
Feb 07 2009

BLUE FUSES have been gigging with their current line up since the end of 1994. Originally a blues band, these STAINES favourites now cover pretty much everything from AC/DC to Frank Zappa, via Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. In other words, CLASSIC ROCK!

The band delivers a tight, highly entertaining performance, every time. This is not a band that hides in the corner apologising for its existence! They play for the sheer enjoyment of entertaining an audience… check the ADPONTES-STAINES live review here.

The Crown
High St, EGHAM, TW20 9DP




Visit AdPontes-Staines Regularly for Staines Arts

Rock Hard

Rock Hard

When I saw local classic rock covers bands Blue Fuses and, later, Foulplay playing gigs at pubs in Egham and Staines on a Saturday night I started to realise that ‘looking like a hardnut’ helps a workaday rock muso, in their daily grind, to get through the concert without mishap.

For example, once you ‘come off stage’ gasping for a pint and maybe a smoke – you will need to stroll through an often hostile audience, whose temperament may be ill-disposed to you because you have done such a shite show.

In these circumstances, it pays if you don’t flounce through the bar-room wearing a one-piece pink shrug and nylon leotard looking like Darkness singer/guitarist Justin Hawkins. It also helps if you look a bit more authentic  (auf-fentik) wearing, maybe, a sombre pair of dirty jeans and a plain T shirt, a bit of 24 hour old fungus on yer chops and a swagger that says, “do you want some, mate?” Obviously, if there are ladies at the venue, you are likely to get a drink from one of these admirers…but this will also invoke ill-feeling from the other alpha males in the room who will, naturally, suppose you are “out to get their birds” and give you ‘a good seeing to’.

All of these complications are far more exaggerated if you are playing a working man’s club or a drinkers boozer and all the punters at the establishment have an-inbuilt and overwhelming desire to “give you a good kicking” because you are a fairy, you are are other-worldy and arty-fart and you are a general neer-do-well.

justinhawkins-waxSo I have come up with a strategy for all you budding rockers out there who hope to get through  to ‘last orders’ without having the contents of your nose splattered all over the flock wallpaper. 

I hope this short lesson helps you to enjoy your concert safe in the knowledge and belief that you will be able to go out into the crowd for half-time drinks and puffs without fear of a bottle being cracked over your head or, at the very least, being ‘accidently’ tripped-up (ha! ha!) as you head back from the bar with a tray load of drinks for your bandmates.

Before I begin on Rock Hard 101, I do  need to define ‘hardness’.

To the average British geezer a person who is ‘Rock Hard’ is anyone who can give a slap, if required, to a recalcitrant yob who jogs his arm ‘accidently’ as he passes. Or who can wink at a lay-dee but who also has the good grace to nod understandingly to the lay-dee’s bloke when he notices.

A ‘Rock Hard’ Fella can drink 2-3 pints in the ten-minute interval. He swaggers to the bog like a cross between John Wayne and Dr Dre and, upon entering said shite-house, he swings the door so violently that he almost takes it off the hinges.   He rolls his own. He buys his own pints (and never drinks bottles of ‘poofy’ drinks like juice.) He wears a few livid battle scars on his face and/or arms. He looks like he can ‘handle himself’ in a bundle. He talks the talk and, far more importantly, he walks the walk.

It is best by starting out on this lesson by saying that long hair is a no-no. I know you like it and you need it long so that you can headbang – but most of the gents in the quintessential British boozer either have NO HAIR or have No. 1 cuts.

Their attitude is that any man who has long hair is either 1) a hippy or 2) gay. They also have firm opinions about the cleanliness of long hair… so Bob Marley would not be welcome (notwithstanding his general ‘hardness’.) Neither would Who vocalist Roger Daltrey during  his ‘Tommy’ days because he looked like a girl with a frothy head of golden bubbles.  Although, Roger would be more welcome nowadays because he has almost gone bald.

[Who- Frothy head of bubbles not welcome!]

The Kinks circa 1970 would not be considered rock hard because of their long hippy hair.  But,  far worse, their clothes scream-out ‘dirty student scrounger’ and so they would not be welcomed. Neither do you want your clothes to mark you out as some kind of intellectual ‘arty-farty’ prat.

So Booker T. & the M.G.’s would not be welcome in any Middlesex public bar and neither would Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Your choice of clothes should either be a) understated and similar to the clientele’s own George at Asda-type choice   or b) way over the top and military in attitude.

The circa 1966 Yardbirds would be very welcome because their style is understated (their hair could do with a wash and a cut though) as long as they left Eric Clapton at home- because he often looked like a bit of a hippy. Nowadays Eric looks a bit too ‘posh’ and so would be given a few smacks just for being ‘a rich city banker’ or words to that effect.

In the early 1970’s the band Slade looked the part too. In those days, before glam, glitter, top hats and stupid heels, this band looked like what they were… a bunch of Midlands hard-nuts with a grudge to settle. In those days you would offer to buy them a drink if they strolled into your bar, not just because you wanted to get ‘in’ with the lads but because you feared for your own safety if you did not.

[Slade- buy them a drink- or else!]

Noel Jones (lead singer with Blue Fuses) wore a sensible Black Pudding T-shirt to his recent Staines Working Mans club gig the other month. Last Saturday, at the Crown Egham, Noel chose to wear a sensible footie shirt.  Another good choice. It is what I call a ‘camoflage’ clothing. If all the punters and punteresses in the pub are football fans you need to blend in.

Obviously, a good knowledge of soccer is also required – or you could make an almighty blunder. However, I have also seen Noel wearing a Cradle of Filth T-shirt in the past and this kind of shirt would be strictly a no-no in the saloon bar at The Crown. Not only has this type of T-shirt got witchcraft connotations, it also says ‘I am a weird beard and I need my head to be kicked in’ to all the regular drinkers. 

So here are a few simple rules about your choice of shirt. a) never wear pink (too poofy); b) never wear sleeveless shirts unless you are a hip-hop star or a rapper (too poofy); c) never wear a ‘funny’T shirt (they won’t get the joke).


Fat bastards, on the whole, look mean and aggressive …but…all the geezers in the pub know that they can ‘take you’ easily because you are out of condition. They like to quote Michael Caine in Get Carter ‘You are a big boy, I know, but you’re out of condition, one hit and you’re down’.  Plus, the downside of being  ‘comfortably built’ is that you are less attractive to the lay-dees. So, although Meat Loaf is one big tough slab of meat, he would not be welcome in my pub on the corner because he is a fat git with long hair and stupid ill-fitting pink-hemmed suit.

However, Buster Bloodvessel aka Doug Trendle is just a normal beer-drinking fat bloke who wears sensible clothes and has got a ‘boiled head’ (i.e. a boiled egg in the place of a head of hair.) So it is how you make your fat-bosy work for you that counts. Mama Cass Elliot would also have been very welcome in The Wheatsheaf & Pigeon Staines any time because she is just a normal fat bird with everyday jumble-sale clothes and a big appetite.

Facial hair

Neither Billy Gibbons nor Dusty Hill from ZZ Top would be welcome in my local because they both look like Santa Claus on his night off. Your choice of facial hair should not be too gay (Freddie) or too outrageous (Frank Zappa). Frank may well have looked like a mean sonofabitch back in the day but your eyes would keep being drawn back to the dead hamsters beneath his beady eyes. In the end you would just have to ‘give him a good kicking’ because of his ‘stupid poncy tash’.

It is best to keep your choice of facial hair to a minimum. Stubble is great (remember how masculine everyone thought George Michael was back in his Wham! days with his face full of stubble?) Full-on face covering, beards (like The Beach Boys in 15 Big Ones ) make you look scary and killer-like (think Charles Manson) or, much, much worse … think Rolf Harris.

beach boys beards
[Beach Boys- killer beards?]


Your swagger as you cross the bar is more important than anything else you do. If you sway across the room in a pink dress teetering on vertiginous high-heels and you look like that bloke Rob Davis out of Mud then – in all likelihood – you will get your face kicked in.

But you can pull this swagger off if you look like David Daniel “Dee” Snider (out of Twisted Sister) because, although you are wearing a frock and make-up, you actually look like a Polish scaffolder on his night off… and as if you mean business.


Lemmy (out of motorhead) is a man’s man. Warts, Nazi clothing, grizzled features, swagger, worn out thin build and a F*** You attitude.

He is the personification of Rock Hard.

– © Neil_Mach November 2008-


© Neil_Mach
Sep 2008

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