2012: The Year in Ska - Kevin Flowerdew/Do the Dog Music and Skazine
Top 5 Favorite Ska Releases
1) Buster Shuffle - Do Nothing (Superb piano-driven 2 Tone ska/pop from London Town - think Madness, Chas and Dave, and Blur all chucked into a blender.)
2) The Phoenix City All Stars - Two Tone Gone Ska (Wonderful old school ska re-inventions of 2 Tone Records classics.)
3) The Skints - Part and Parcel (Fab second album from the UK's finest reggae talent.)
4) Captain Black No Stars - Slapstick and Tragedy (The long-awaited debut full length by Norfolk's dirty reggae kings - awesome organ driven rhythms underpinning fiercely anti-establishment lyrics.)
5) Jaya The Cat - The New International Sound Of Hedonism (Barnstorming party of anthemic punky reggae and ska.)
Top 5 Favorite Live Ska Shows
(All at the incredible London International Ska Festival in Islington back in May!)
1) Buster Shuffle
2) Chris Murray
3) The Skints
5) Capone and The Bullets
Top 5 Favorite Ska Merch
I really enjoyed Gaz Mayall's book on the first 30 years of Gaz's Rockin' Blues club night in London. A great read--and loads of cool photos and flyers from the club, too!
The London International Ska Festival book was a fab read too, although I didn't buy that one. I stole it from my little brother.
Top 5 Ska Regrets
My main regret is that I haven't picked up more ska zines in 2012. There seem to be fewer and fewer printed zines every year. I suppose the internet has lots of webzines and blogs to check out, but I've always been old school in this respect. I prefer to have an actual zine/magazine in my hands.
Top 5 Ska Wishes for 2013
My top wish is undoubtedly to hear the brand new albums by my two favourite bands at the moment: Cartoon Violence from Wales and Razika from Norway! If you haven't heard either of these yet, then check them out pronto, you won't be disappointed!