Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No Doubt Reveal 2-Tone and Ska Roots on Current U.S. Tour

While ska and 2-Tone fans outside the U.S. have been enjoying tours by The Specials and Madness, ska fans here in the States remain hopeful that the bands will makes visits here during 2010.  In the meantime, tours by No Doubt and Reel Big Fish with The English Beat have filled the void.

While No Doubt have not been a ska band since their early days, during their current tour they have been shining a light on their 2-Tone beginnings playing a dub-heavy, down-tempo version of 'Excuse Me Mr.' and a blazing cover of The Skatalites’ classic 'Guns of Navarone' which should really be a staple of The Specials set, as their live cover version remains the definitive version of the song.

Whatever your opinion of the band, they burst onto the music scene at exactly the right time and offered up an appealingly lightweight and breezy alternative (with a heavy nod to their early ska roots) to grunge, rap-rock and all the other heavy sounds going down in the mid-'90s. It was a style that would prove immensely influential, not only in its day (with such No Doubt clones as Save Ferris), but more than a decade later as they have paved the way for other young power-pop acts that followed in their wake.

I'll always respect No Doubt for bringing a shot of ska and reggae into the U.S. pop charts when it was not fashionable or popular. The band also tapped the re-formed version of The Selecter as a support act several years ago giving Pauline Black a chance to reach a young American audience at a time when ska in the U.S. had gone back underground.

Below is video of No Doubt performing 'Guns Of Navarone' at their homecoming show in Anaheim, California earlier this week

Below is a download of the band's recent homecoming show in Anaheim courtesy of the Mondo De Muebles ska blog:


Kames Jelly said...

great cover, i was real bummed i missed them at the PNC Bank Arts Center this summer. i still listen to tragic kingdom pretty regularly.

although, as much as i love them, they bum me out a bit, because from what i understand, the Skaface comp on Moon records was supposed to be reissued on CD in the 90's, but No Doubt wouldnt sign off on their track because it didnt represent what they were doing at the time.

Miles said...

I see the mighty mighty bosstones touring as being much more akin to the touring of Madness and the Specials.

Even at the outdoor shows for No Doubt, the front was full of seats without a dancefloor. General Admission was way in the back. The ticket prices were really high, they didn't put any local bands on the bills. I'm still pissed they called that album Rocksteady, when it was anything but.


Fernando said...

Hello Marco first comment on blog..I agree with efery single word that you said about No Doubt...if today I'm a enthusiast about ska and jamaican music in general ,I debt this to this band that introduced something fresh and nemw in the end of 90's
Cheers from Brazil!