Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Dance Brigade - New Ska Band Featuring Lee Thompson (Madness) & Jennie Mathias (The Belle Stars)

While we continue to wait patiently for the new Madness album "The Liberty of Norton Folgate" let me introduce you to The Dance Brigade, a new ska musical project featuring the combined talents of Madness sax player Lee "Kix" Thompson and Jennie Mathias who was the lead vocalist of The Belle Stars (formed by ex-members of The Bodysnatchers).

Their ska-based music is a hybrid of styles mixed in with technology and is very reminiscent of The Madness project with the songs dominated by sampled drum sounds. They recently performed live at the 100 Club in London and their live show featured computers and a live band (guitars, horns, keyboards) on stage. They were joined at their live show by Dave Barker (Dave and Ansell Collins) who has also recorded a track with them. Though I'm not a fan of the overly processed drum sample sounds on the recordings and feel the lack of a real drummer live hampers the overall sound and live groove, the songs are interesting and its great to see Lee and Jennie working together again as their paths crossed at Stiff Records many years ago.

The band line-up includes:
Lee Thompson (Saxophone, Vocals)
Jennie Bellestar (Lead Vocals)
Keith Finch (Production and programming)
Chico Chagas (Keyboards, Guitar, Accordian)
Chalky White (Trumpet)
Daniel Burdett (Guitar, Backing Vocals)
Debra Barker (Backing Vocals)

Here is a video of the song "Who's That Girl" filmed by Madness guitarist Chris "Chrissy Boy" Foreman on his cell phone at The Dance Brigade show at the 100 Club in London in September:

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