Madness, Bad Manners and Chainska Brassika @ Boomtown Fair, Aug. 11th, 2016
It being the end of the year, I’ve finally got a break from work so can get back on top of my photos from the year.
I didn’t get round to uploading my Boomtown ska photos from this summer. So here goes.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, Madness were an almost daily listening experience for me with classics like “Our House” and “It Must Be Love” getting heavy radio play and chart-topping re-releases. Having the opportunity to photograph these legendary musicians was quite an experience, and not just because I nearly broke my ankle on a rock while doing so. Not only was the photo pit abyssal, so too was the lighting for much of the first three songs, but the contrast between light and dark made for some nice contrasts.
Watching around 20,000 people singing along to “Our House” after I finished my three-song shoot gave me goosebumps, and shows how much affection the audience had for these 2-tone ska legends.
Performing in what is their 40th year together, it wasn’t until I actually saw Bad Manners playing that I realized I actually already know most of their songs. I think it must be the same for anyone who grew up around the same time as me in the UK – you probably know most Beatles songs without having to actively pay attention to them. With Bad Manners it’s much the same, but with the addition of having heard much of their work covered by third-wave ska bands (like Skankin’ Pickle’s version of “Special Brew“).
London-based New School Ska band Chainska Brassika are a boatload of fun and prove that ska is still going strong despite what some might perceive as a lull in the genre.
There are 8 members in the band, but as you can, I am missing a couple of chaps who were a little too far away, or hidden behind myriad mic stands to get decent shots. Apologies to them!