A sunny night in Kingston at the Fighting Cocks was the scene for a fun filled night of ska punk. On tonight’s bill would be The JB Conspiracy from London with support from Scholars of Hemel Hempstead.
There was only a small crowd at the Fighting Cocks this evening which I found quite surprising. Why? I don’t know but it didn’t affect Scholars energy during their set. Starting their set with an intro track before the drummer, the two guitarists and bass player and then finally the lead singer casually walked onto the stage from the crowd. Not that the singer stayed there long. Straight away he was pacing around the front of the crowd, getting into people’s faces singing. He was on a mission to make everyone pay attention to his band. The songs themselves were played fantastically well. To me it sounded like Fall Out Boy crossed with 30 Seconds To Mars but with more aggressive music. The songs were good and varied ranging from slightly mellow anthems to shouty in your face punk rock songs. Scholars played with a lot of enthusiasm and have a great stage presence. To tell you the truth I had a little listen to them before the gig and wasn’t a big fan but after seeing them live I will definitely give them another listen.
Next was seven piece ska punk act The JB Conspiracy. Having not seen them since the long awaited release of their new album The Storm I was excited to hear some of the new material live. The stage at the Fighting Cocks is one of the smallest I’ve seen so and I did wonder how they would all fit on the stage and if it would affect the performance in anyway. Straight away you could tell that the JB boys were going to give this everything. Guitarist and lead singer Matt jumped into the crowd and quite promptly fell over. Ever the professionals this didn’t phase the band at all as they stormed through the song regardless. After some minor sound troubles at the beginning of their set they soon got into full swing. Both saxophone players jumped into the crowd to encourage the crowd to start skanking and with very little encouragement we duly obliged. I love listening to The JB Conspiracy horn section. For me the only band that can match them in this department in the UK is the New Town Kings. It’s impossible not to smile and dance along with them. Because of this I can’t really comment to much more on the rest of their performance. I was too busy skanking in the pit making new friends (after accidently butting heads with one lad). This is why I love ska shows, how many other places can you do things like this? I loved every song they played but personal favourites tonight were Drop Your Anchor, 1985, This Machine, Take Flight and Start Listening, I was however slightly disappointed that they didn’t play Say Goodbye because that has an awesome sing-along section.
Overall it was a fantastic little gig, all for only £5! If the JB Conspiracy play a gig anywhere near your home town go and see them. Or take a four hour round trip like I did, it will be well worth it.
Check out music from The JB Conspiracy here: http://thejbconspiracy.bandcamp.com/