Skafonics, Small Fakers, Quixote’s Beard.
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Skafonics Bond Street Bowl, Chelmsford. 16th June 2018, Small Fakers Bassment, Chelmsford. 16th June 2018, Quixote’s Beard Bond Street, Bowl Chelmsford. 17th June 2018.


Well what a good weekend that was, it all started at the Bond Street Bowl outside John Lewis in Chelmsford. Shakster records put on a weekend festival in aid of Chelmsford Mencap. I got there just to see the end of the talented Louise Parkers set. Met a few friends there and we then skanked away to the Skafonics, you can probably guess what kind of music they play. They played it and were very good, I have seen them before so there were no surprises. Good quality Ska music from the usual suspects, Specials, Bad Manners, Madness etc. What they also do as well though are covers of other songs which you don’t normally hear. The Pioneers “Long Shot Kick The Bucket,” Dave and Ansell Collins “Double Barrel” and for the hoolies Symarips “Skinhead Moonstomp.” All good fun, all for a good cause and what a wonderful use of this piece of land. The Bassment put on a bar and Transition, some catering. Just a shame that more people don’t support these things but hey ho, they’re the ones who miss out. A short walk for some Chinese at Zen Noodle, then for a couple of pints in the Royal Steamer to meet everyone. The Steamer has just had a facelift and I recommend it. Nice and friendly, good beer and a good jukebox. Watched the first England game in here as well, we won so it’s also a lucky pub.

Small Fakers

Next up were the Small Fakers just across the road at the Bassment. Love the Bassment, always have lots of good bands and DJ sets on, tonight was no exeption. I have seen the Fakers before and what they are is a very, very good tribute band to the Small Faces. The place was sold out as usual when they play this venue. Just loads of Paisley shirts and Fred Perry’s as the Essex mod contingent hit the town. Tonight the band played the whole of Ogdens Nut Gone Flake, a great album but not too keen on the Stanley Unwin bits though. When they came back for their second set of the night, they treated us to the greatest hits. A bit predictable I know but my favourite is Tin Soldiers and they played a great rendition of this. I always think that the best bit of these nights are the DJ’s, we had Dave Arscott who played us a set of 60’s mod sounds, RnB and Northern too make sure that we all went home happy and sweaty.

Quixote’s Beard

On the Sunday I popped back down to Bond Street to see Quixote’s Beard. I have never seen them before so didn’t know what they were like. They are a great covers band, who also play their own songs as well. To give you a taste of them we had songs from the Vibrators, Bowie, The Clash, ZZ Top, Talking Heads and other music from my favourite era. Nothing heavy (not keen on that sort of stuff), just great music from that time, a pit of punk and light rock. Will definitely go to see these again.

All in all a great weekend of music, 3 good bands and I didn’t even go out on Friday. I must say I have seen a few events at the Bond Street Bowl and it’s a fantastic place for outdoor gigs during the day. There is a Tesco’s near so you can get your drinks and snacks there. The people in Loch Fyne must get a bit peed off though, due everyone using the toilet there. A big thumbs up for Dave Wheelhouse, aka Shakey. He puts on loads of live music in the town and without people like him the music scene would not be as vibrant. All he has to do is sort out his football team .

Duncan, June 2018.