22nd December 17
You can’t beat a good bit of ska & reggae to keep the foot tapping. Double Barrel are a popular Ipswich ska band with a big portfolio of tracks and from the off people were on the dancefloor singing and dancing.
They obviously did the classics, a range of ska & reggae tracks such as Sally Brown, Lip Up Fatty and they also did a few not so frequently played ones – you heard the crowd say “not heard this one for a while” so it was nice to mix it up and keep the crown entertained.
A bigger set-up than I’ve seen from Double Barrel before – adding a saxophone and trombone to make them a 7-piece. A perfect combination. The two horn guys must have been a reasonably new addition as they were still finding their feet with the personality of the band but I doubt no-one else noticed.
However, that didn’t take away from the musicianship of these two in the slightest. The horns added a different depth to the band, and you really need it if you’re going to be serious about ska. There are quite a few ska bands in the Ipswich area and therefore it’s harder to stand out from the others but with these extra two in the band, it was a great sound.
I found them to be a ‘sharing’ band – by this I mean there were a few instrumental tracks where the individual musicians could really show off their talents – it was a nice touch, rather than leaving it to the traditional end when giving thanks to the band members for their little flurry. Having them do their ‘thang’ for a few tracks was very enjoyable for the crowd – as could tell by our whoops and yells of delight.
The saxophonist I doubt is old enough to have been around for the 70s ska era – but his youth didn’t detract from his playing ability and what awesomeness he added to the tracks. He certainly looked like he was enjoying himself too.
The vocals were not loud enough, for whatever reason – I put it down to perhaps an over use of vocals at this time of year probably not having time to rest. Although quieter vocals, the music was certainly loud enough.
Mr H from The Downsetters was in the audience so obviously he got up to do one track which was superb and an utter crowd pleaser, and no issues with the loudness of the vocals for that track.
A bigger set-up but they still managed to fit on the stage at The Railway! A great music venue with a big variety every week, with efficient staff and friendly people.
You can tell if it’s a good ska band by the amount of skanking braces on the dancefloor….and there were plenty this night. I thoroughly enjoyed it.