Hubs Records ‘Hubdubabeat Festival’ at Open, Norwich with ChainSka Brassica, The Piratones, and The Disgraceful Squids, 3 August 2013, review
The third and final night of the amazing Hubdubabeat Festival was again held in the club room of Norwich’s OPEN. I arrived at the venue shortly after 9pm, so missed most of The Disgraceful Squids’ set (as happened at Geldeston Lockstock Festival too) but caught two or three of their numbers which are fast, punk-infused ska beat styled.
By the time The Piratones took to the stage it was clear that a sizable number of people had come tonight primarily to hear them (myself included) as the dancefloor area rapidly filled up and they are clearly developing a sizable and loyal following. Playing a nice mix of set favourites and some new tracks getting a debut airing. All songs were greeted enthusiastically and the happy audience skanked throughout. I have a lot of time for The Piratones, as people and as a band, who I always enjoy seeing and hearing, they guarantee to bring fun and a smile on your face. They made a lovely dedication to birthday girl Jess, celebrating in her usual joyous dancing way at the front, and played a storming version of one of my personal favourites ‘Forest of Sin’ which with its uptempo finale sent the crowd wild.
After the frenzied dancing to The Piratones, everyone needed to cool down with a drink or some minutes outside, so by the time ChainSka Brassica started their set there were only a couple of people on the dancefloor. By the time they were into their second song the place was a heaving, skanking throng. They play a highly energetic brand of ska, very reminiscent of the 1979 2Tone movement with the mix of political lyrics and infectious ska rhythms and a superb horn section and big sound. I gather their place on the bill was in doubt until quite late in the day due to their breaking down on the motorway crossing the country from Bristol. Thankfully they made it here and played a really energetic and wild set, sustaining the energy throughout until they finally had to leave the stage, utterly spent shortly after midnight. Some of the highlights included a superb rendition of The Specials’ Ghost Town, and a political number set to the tune of Papa’s Got a Brand New PigBag.
As always seems to be the case whenever I go to OPEN, the sound was excellent and the audience friendly, lively and positive.
words and photos by richard shashamane 2013