Where I live, in Bedford, I don't often seen many gigs that have me chomping at the bit to pop along but every now and then a line-up is announced that has me very keen. On March the 6th, Bedford Esquires were hosting London ska punk kings the Popes Of Chillitown with support from Bedfordshire's own Easydread and new local band Flamin' Wet Gurus. It looked like a fun night out so Emma and I hit the town.
Unfortunately, I had to work until 8pm so we missed the majority of Flamin' Wet Gurus’ set by the time we got down to Esquires. They were best described as a world music collective who played a variety of different instruments, including plenty of percussion. On the night, I jokingly described them as being a group of teachers who have access to the school’s instrument room and formed a band. As I said, we didn't get to see a lot of their set but I did enjoy their cover of The Specials classic Ghost Town.
Next it was time for the Popes Of Chillitown’s return to the Esquires stage. The band sadly had all their gear stolen during 2019, so it was great to see them back up and running again and doing what they do best – playing kick ass ska punk music. From the very beginning of their set, the band were an explosion of energy. No member of the band seems to be in one spot for more than the second (excluding drummer Jack, of course) and this feeling quickly spills over into the crowd as the band fly through plenty of songs from To The Moon and Work Hard, Play Hard, See You In The Graveyard. The Popes are an excellent party band. It's good times and good vibes all around as the crowd come together and celebrate one of the leading lights in the UK ska punk scene playing a dynamite set. This was my first time seeing the Popes since the addition of Trosso (also of Brazilian ska legends Abraskadabra). What a great addition to the band he has been. I didn't think it was possible to match the energy of lead singer Matt but Trosso certainly gave him a run for his money. I've been watching these guys for a number of years now and they never cease to amaze and entertain. They're a band that is constantly evolving and picking up more and more fans along the road. 2020 is looking like it's going to be another big year for the band, make sure you catch them when they inevitably roll into your town.