Last night I had the pleasure of catching two of my home town’s best live music acts, each playing in a basement venue a couple of hundred meters apart on Stockholm’s southern island. The Crawfish Cook and the Skandalites are both 60s-70s cover bands, but since they cultivate genres I usually don’t listen to, they might as well have performed original material.
Crawfish Cook play New Orleans soul funk, with material culled from Doctor John, Professor Longhair, the Neville Brothers, the Meters and Little Feat. Last night they were an eight-piece: male singer, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, keyboard, sax, trumpet. Groovy indeed! And the audience was really cool, being composed largely of Stockholm Blues Society members. They have the hard-won authority of the blues.
The Skandalites play 2-Tone ska. This, explains Wikipedia, is “a music genre created in England in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska, punk rock, rocksteady, reggae and pop music.” Last night, the Skandalites were also an eight-piece: female singer with melodica, male singer, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums, sax, trumpet. And they rawked! I danced like a nutter. I could identify songs by the Specials, Rancid and Kraftwerk (!), but here’s a few more titles that I can make out from a crappy photograph of the set list: you help me attribute them.
- On My Radio
- Revolution Rock
- Guns of Navarone
- Get Up
- Do the Dog
- Monkey Man
- Rat Race Kiss
(Fans of Swedish cartoonist Joakim Lindengren may be interested to know that the real people behind his characters The Count and The Executioner are both members of the Skandalites.)
Live music in small venues is magic. Almost anything is good in that setting. And almost anything can be bad in a stadium. Don’t go to gigs where you’re too far from the stage to see the drummer’s trickle of drool! And if you book bands, then let me tell you, the Crawfish Cook and the Skandalites deliver.