You can’t beat a good bit of ska & reggae to keep the foot tapping. Double Barrel are a popular Ipswich ska band with a big portfolio of tracks and from the off, the audience were on the dancefloor singing and dancing.
They obviously did the classics: a range of ska and reggae tracks such as Sally Brown, Lip Up Fatty, however they also did a few no so frequently played ones – you heard the crowd say “not heard this one for a while” which gave it a nice mix up to keep the crowd entertained.
A bigger set-up than I’ve seen from Double Barrel before – adding a saxophone and trombone to make them a 7-piece. A perfect combination. The two horn guys must have been a reasonably new addition as they were still finding their feet with the personality of the band but I doubt no-one noticed. However, that didn’t take away from the musicianship of these two in the slighted. The horns added a different depth to the band, and you really need it if you’re going to be serious about ska. There are quite a few ska bands in the Ipswich area and therefore it’s harder to stand out from the others but with these extra two in the band, it was a great sound.
I found them to be a ‘sharing’ band – by this I mean there were a few instrumental tracks were the individual musicians could really show off their talents – it was a nice touch, rather than leaving it to the traditional end when giving thanks to the band members and they have their little flurry. Letting them do their ‘thang’ for a few tracks was very enjoyable for the crowd – as they were rewarded with our whoops and yells of delight.
The saxophonist I doubt is old enough to have been around for the 70s ska era – but his youth didn’t detract from his playing ability and what awesomeness he added to the tracks. He certainly looked like he was enjoying himself too.
The vocals were not loud enough, for whatever reason – I put it down to perhaps too much gigging and not having the time to rest. Although quieter vocals, the music was certainly loud enough.
Mr H from The Downsetters was in the audience so obviously he got up to do one track which was superb and an utter crowd pleaser, and no issues with the loudness of the voclas for that track!
You can tell if it’s a good ska band by the amount of skanking braces on the dancefloor…and there were plenty this night. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
A bigger set-up but they still manage to just fit on the stage at The Railway! A great music venue with a big variety of music every week and efficient staff and friendly people.
Photo credit Josh Kell
This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE.