Last Friday was an excellent night out. My cousin CJ and I went out to Rio’s night club for the first time since he finished working there. The new tech manager who took over from CJ is a good friend so we were still able to get in for free 😀 .
The event on that night just happened to be Bad Manners, a celebration gig on Buster Bloodvessel’s 50th birthday. For those who do not know, Bad Manners are a ska revival band, part of the scene in the mid 70s/80s which also saw such acts as Madness, The Specials and The Selecter. The exploits of their front man, Buster earned them considerable notoriety. They still tour and host an annual music festival in Bedfordshire titled Bad Fest.
In 2006, CJs band, ‘The Attic Project’ (along with their roadie crew, which included yours truly) was invited to play at Bad Fest alongside The Beat, The Selecter along with Bad Manners themselves, who headlined the festival. It was at this event that I first saw Bad Manners and their incredibly entertaining show.
When Buster first walked on stage at Rios last Friday and started the show with his signatured chant “This…IS…Skaaaa!” I was immediately reminded of the first time when I saw him on a much bigger stage in an old airfield.
The show was no less impress despite this. The crowd was just as lively as you’d expect them to be; jumping, skanking and moshing all over the place, chanting “You Fat Bastard! You Fat Bastard!” at Buster, which he actively encourages (note that it is bar-stard not bass-tard even though we are in the north, as Buster is from Hackney). It was the first time in ages that I’d been n the middle of such an atmosphere and I enjoyed every second of it. It did make taking photos particularly difficult mind, so this was the best I could manage from the balcony above.
Not that I really needed more photos of Buster mind you. When we were at Bad Fest we met Buster in the bar backstage along with all the other bands. It really made me wish we could back to that time, it was an amazing experience, one we’re unlikely to be able to repeat these days. Still, I was happy to be able to enjoy the atmosphere last Friday anyway.