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Selling out (in a good way)!

Skaraman - (with The Chase and Welcome Pariah) -Eastney Cellars, Portsmouth - 1st February 2013

There are various meanings to the term ‘sell out’: Negatively, it could be used to describe a ‘liberal’ principled politician who decides he wants to go against those principles in order to gain a ‘conservative’ element of power or it could be an American band (with a ‘royal’ sounding name) who once had an exciting raw blues rock sound but decided to betray their roots in order to become the next U2/Coldplay (or insert your own soulless dull stadium fodder act).

Equally it could be used positively to describe a concert where all the tickets have been sold and the band(s) haven’t had to betray their principles or roots in order to achieve this!

Thankfully our gig with The Chase and Welcome Pariah at the Eastney Cellars, Portsmouth fell into the latter category. None of the bands playing could be accused of alienating their roots or influences and yet the majority of the tickets had sold out well in advance of the event.

This was a big deal for us, in addition to the boost of the ticket sales, the Cellars is a prestigious local venue which has hosted the likes of Wilko Johnson, Alabama 3, Jimmy Carr and Albert Lee in the past (even Right said Fred weren’t too sexy to play there!) …and we were keen to make a good impression.

Thankfully the night got off to a good start and we were given a decent sound-check which settled nerves a bit. By the time opening act Welcome Pariah had finished and we had to get ready to go on, the venue was packed and it’s fair to say that those nerves had kicked back in again for me. This was alleviated somewhat by the short but superb ‘In between bands’ DJ set, during which each song was greeted by a member of Skaraman with an enthusiastic “we should cover that”! I’m just thankful that the DJ didn’t play any Keane, One Direction or Justin Beiber!

We opened with Mange and proceeded to blast our way through a rousing 45 minute set, including our ‘best versions to date’ of political rants ‘Uprising’ and ‘Manifesto’ and culminating with our up-tempo ska-d up rendition of the Monkees ‘I’m a believer’. Although the music sounded good and the crowd response was absolutely fantastic, the highlight for me was Mike dedicating ‘The Circus’ to a solitary drunken heckler at the bar “because he’s a clown”! After our set we were able to unwind and enjoy The Chase’s headlining performance as well as some really encouraging feedback and comments from various people in the audience….The overall feeling amongst us is that it was the best we have played in a long long time and that we’d succeeded in making that good impression.

It was a brilliant evening and we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who came along to support us.

We have a few gigs lined up for next month but next on the agenda for Skaraman is the release of our long awaited EP which was recorded at Envy Studios in Petersfield and is currently being mixed and mastered. We feel that the 4 track opus highlights our positive progression as a band and with the immensely talented Rich Lansley on board to do the artwork ( ) and plans for a big launch gig, it promises to be an exciting time. Here’s hoping that both the EP and future gigs with be ‘sell outs’ in a good way.

Set List

Nowhere to go
The Circus
I’m a believer

By Stu

Filed under ska reggae music sellout Skaraman Portsmouth The Chase