The Skatalites









The Boys
Somerville Theater in Boston 9/21/97

The duties of editor and chief of the bhatt-zine have taken me to Boston to see The Skatalites and Murphy's Law.  Last night was The Skatalites in a night of firsts for e.Bowla and myself.

We head up onto the locale of the show and its a multi-purpose theatre. They played movies and had shows there.  Got to ask the e.bowla for the name of the place, but since it is a movie theater and has no liquor license we headed across the street to Johnny D's bar.  We are enjoying our Guinness' when the e.bowla says, look at that.  I look over and standing there was the legendary Lester Sterling.  We talked to him for a few minutes and he headed out of there with his food.

The Slackers were on first.  They failed to impress me or the e.bowla.  We saw a bit of the Boston home town band Skavoovee and The Epitones.  They were good enough.  There horn section was five deep.  Two trumpets, two saxes, and for the first time a tuba.  Martin Payne joined us and we headed back to Johnny D's for more nourishment so we did not get to much of Skavoovee.

The Skatailites were incredible!!!  They played great songs that I have never heard live/before.  Lloyd Knibbs son Dion Knibbs has been added to the line up as a singer.  He is great.  He has an incredible range to boot.  Between him and Doreen Schaffer they were taking The Skatalites to a level they don't normally go to, vocals.  Everybody in the crowd was impressed by the addition of Dion.  Roland Alphonso pulled out the soprano sax and killed it.  Yet another first for the e.bowla and myself.  The set list was a greater variety than ever before, possibly the addition of Dion has allowed them to expand the type of songs they can play.  Unfortunately the major overhaul in their set list cut out Man In The Street and Confucius.  I did notice a couple themes/influences going through the solo's, Stand By Me, that rhyme about the place in France where the naked ladies dance, and one other that me and e.bowla cannot remember right now.  One of the best Skatalites performances I have ever seen.  I can think of eight times that I have seen them, which means I probably have seen them at least ten times.  This was the best.  I eagerly await there next appearence.  The last time I saw them was in June, I thought that that was the best performance to date.  I guess they are getting better with age, those that are still able to perform. Tommy McCook is still not performing live.

Sudden Death Publications (c) 2003