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Disgrace (F&J Records)

By • Sep 8th, 2020 • Category: Single review

Ska is a weird genre – basically it’s fast reggae, but ska punk – which is what this quintet make – is, well, punk, with an offbeat.

And some swirly keyboard. That’s ‘Disgrace’ at least, you’ll get that from the way the title is bellowed in the chorus. Possibly autobiographical from the vocalist – drunk… sweary… “not the sort of man you could take home to your parents”.

Rudebeard are something of a supergroup, with members of ska legends Amphetameanies, Capone and the Bullets, punks the Newtown Grunts, and um, Randolph’s Leap? Anyway, ‘Are You Ready?’ would be a fine new wave tune if it wasn’t for those offbeats putting the band firmly in that Jamaican-influenced pigeonhole, especially when the father fine sax solo comes in.

Oddly, ‘World Keeps Rolling On’ seems to have more of a Northern Soul rhythm to it, once we’re past the quite affecting wee intro. The band recorded this in lockdown with Graham Mearns stitching the individual bits together rather expertly to capture some of the band’s live energy for a set that is comprised of three rather fine songs, whatever the time signature. You don’t need to don a pork pie hat to enjoy it, but if we ever get round to celebrating the end of lockdown, Rudebeard could be the ideal party band.

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