Talking Heads, Southampton

The Toasters

It’s Easter Sunday and the majority of us have the Bank Holiday Monday off work; so it’s time to get those feet moving and a chance to get rid of some of those calories loaded, from eating too many Easter Eggs! New York’s finest Ska band The Toasters are once again in town to inject some of their infectious energy into the audience. This six piece band; originally formed in 1981 by Robert “Bucket” Hingley, who was born locally in Weymouth and formed the band after emigrating to New York. These guys are part way through a huge, non-stop European tour which takes them right through to the 18th June; with a final UK gig at the Willowman Festival.

Tonight’s support are Bournemouth’s Escapefrom’98, who have taken a little break recently after frontman Lee got married and drummer Amanda Browne left to pursue other musical projects. A new drummer in the form of Danny Lock from Bournemouth’s “9 Left Behind” has now taken his place behind the kit. The Pop/Punk band arrive onstage fighting fit and raring to go with a new set. The enthusiasm and the energy of the band cannot be faulted as they go about winning over this hard crowd of mainly Ska music fans.

Escapefrom '98
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The new songs come in the form of the sentimental “Absent Friends” and the infectious “One Note Solo” where ironically, James the guitarist breaks a string! Professionally the band carry on as a 3-piece while the rogue string is fixed with a fast-paced version of “Banking”. They slowly win over the Southampton crowd who are now being more responsive with plenty of positive applause. We are treated to a couple more songs including another new one “Don’t Worry, Don’t Sweat it”; which included a very Blink 182-sounding riff, along with a very singable and memorable chorus. The band leave the stage after a 35 minute set having really entertained everyone that have the courtesy of turning up early to see them.

The Toasters waste no time in getting started and by the second the song the Talking Heads dance floor is full of people moving their feet to the infectious Ska beat. This band are extremely well rehearsed and deliver a tight set with momentous, never ending energy. The set includes songs like “Pirate Radio”; which is all about 60’s radio station Radio Caroline, which broadcast unlicensed from a ship at sea. There was also ìHouse of Soul”, inspired by the music of New Orleans and the really uplifting “Sitting On top Of the World”.

The Toasters
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Each musician in this band brings something really special in their own right and when you combine all these components together you get a spectacular sound. Each song is well crafted and really original with the band putting their own take on the traditional Ska/Reggae sound. After around 90 minutes on stage the band try to leave but the audience are having none of it and they return for a two song encore of “2 Tone Army” and “Matt Davis”. A fantastic, energetic fun-filled night was had by all-this is what live music is all about and it beats staying at home and watching a Bank Holiday movie repeat on television!



Words, Pictures & Videos By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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