Last gig of the year and it’s a band I’ve been going to see play live since 1980. Brighton has it’s fair share of Ska, Punk and Ska Punk bands, and tonight three of them are in support.

First up, we have The Meows Meows. Dressed up as characters in a Nativity play, they power through an energetic horn-driven set that goes down really well. They manage to get people dancing so good on ’em, always a difficult job for the band on first. They’re currently taking pledges so that they can record their second album with prolific Brighton producer and b-line heavyweight Prince Fatty. They run their band themselves without a record company or manager behind them and you can support good independent music by making a pledge here.

Too Many Crooks also have a decent local and national following. They’ve got their fourth album out, “Here today, gone tomorrow” and their set is a good mixture of old and new stuff. Once again they get the crowd moving and put on an enthusiastic show.

The Piranhas have been going since 1977 and are stalwarts of the Brighton punk scene. Now calling themselves Piranhas 3d they’re still fronted by Boring Bob Grover. They play some of their old songs like “I don’t want my body”, but of course it’s “Tom Hark” that goes down a storm and still sounds as good as it did back in 1980.

The version of the The Beat playing tonight now only has Ranking Roger as the original member. Last time I saw them play they still had original drummer Everett Moreton with them but he’s not on stage tonight. Roger alongside his son Ranking Junior aka Mini Murphy makes for a powerhouse duo who work really well together fronting the band. Of course they power though all the classic Beat songs so we get to hear:

  • Tears of a clown
  • Best Friend
  • Doors of your heart
  • Hands off she’s mine
  • Stand down Margaret
  • Noise in this world
  • Rock the Casbah (which they always dedicate to Joe Strummer)
  • Big shot
  • Rough rider
  • Ranking full stop
  • Jackpot

It’s an energetic, sweaty set and the crowd of older skin heads and younger Beat fans are well up for jumping around and singing along. The perfect pre-Christmas gig, The Beat are always worth going to see live. With The Selecter playing down here in March 2013 and The Specials on the road again in May 2013 the Two Tone take on Ska is still going strong. A great blend of nostalgia for those who were there first time around and just good dance music.


A previous review of The Beat at the Brighton Ska Festival in May 2012 here.

The Meow Meows

Too many crooks

The Beat