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Gig & Concert News - After two years of turmoil, Taranaki band finally releases new music

After two years of turmoil, Taranaki band finally releases new music

13 May 2022 - 0 Comments

After more than two years of covid, local Taranaki band Skank Bandit are ready to start releasing new music and perform live again.

“Just before the first lockdown in 2020, we had secured and locked-in a 15 date tour of New Zealand to support the release of our first album Blood, Sweat & Beers, says drummer Jarrod Hooper.

Instead we got “locked-down”, adds singer Wes james.

In between lockdowns and the multitude of changes the band managed to release their first album Blood, Sweat & Beers. “It was a bit of a weird time”, notes guitarist Tecwyn King, “We played one really awesome gig before the second wave of lockdowns began, then everything turned to crap after that”.

The vaccine pass system came in and everyone got a lot more cautious about going out. Live music basically came to a halt.

The band’s latest song, Suck On That, represents all those frustrations and challenges that everyone has faced during these unprecedented times. The song has a laid back reggae vibe with a reflective and somewhat melancholic overtone.

To compliment the song, lead singer Wes James filmed a simple yet effective music video for the track. “I wanted to capture something that signified the lockdown experience, personally I did a lot of bike riding during the lockdowns and spent a lot of time checking out our beautiful city”. James captured the video using a cellphone and biking along the foreshore toward the port - one handed.

Hooper felt the video captured the dichotomy of experiencing a lock down, “You’ve got all this natural beauty and basically no one around”. Guitarist Tecwyn King echoes this sentiment and how the video links to the new single, “Lockdown was strange, in some ways people were really connected with technology but then at the same time they were really disconnected not really knowing what was going on in each others lives”

After several months of not being able to rehearse, Skank Bandit finally got together again in person. “The first thing we did was write this song, it literally just collectively flowed out of us”. The band usually records its rehearsals to capture new and spontaneous material. Drummer Jarrod Hoopers adds “the original demo recording of the song is very close to the final studio recording”.

Suck On That was one of the last songs for the band to finish writing before they entered Rhythm Ace Studios, earlier this year, to record their second full length album.

Rhythm Ace owner, producer, local legend and sound engineer, Sam Johnson, speaks volumes of the new track and the bands work ethic “"The Bandit always bring crazy energy and loads of ideas into the studio. We pretty much captured the new single live and have found between us that that's the best way to try and bottle all that fire!"”

The band recorded eight tracks in seven days and now the next step is getting the album mixed and mastered, a process that can take some time and extra funds to get right.

Hooper explains how the band’s sound has developed during the creation of the second album, “our sound has matured a lot, we have focused a lot more on capturing grooves as opposed to creating technical arrangements”. Lead Guitarist Tecwyn Kings adds “the first album, Wes wrote himself, this second album has been a collaborative group effort from the beginning, everyone has added their own vibe and collectively it has created something very special that we are all really proud of”.

Fans of the band can still expect to hear Skank Bandit’s unique and energetic blend of Reggae, Rock, Ska, Punk, Metal and Funk. But with a lot more groove and consistency between songs. James explains “There are some head banging anthems on this album but we’ve also captured a nice steady and funky reggae-rock feel across the tracks”.

Suck On That will be available on all streaming platforms from Monday, May 16th.The accompanying music video is available now on YouTube and the band's Facebook Page.

To celebrate the release of the new single, Skank Bandit will be playing at local music venue Eight Ball Pool and Darts on Saturday the 21st of May. Tickets are available from Eventfinda.

The gig will also be the bands first show with new bass player Matt Flower who has recently moved back to New Zealand after living in London for 12 years. Flower is a seasoned musician and was the bass player for legendary local band Agent which moved to the UK, toured all over the world and had multiple successful music releases.

Drummer Jarrod Hooper is very excited about performing at this venue “Mike and the team from Eight Ball have really stepped up and created an awesome live music space, this was really missing from the Taranaki music scene”. Eight Ball is becoming the home of original live music as the venue has installed an impressive stage, backdrop and in-house sound system. Pool tables and dart boards are still easily accessible and there is plenty of room for punters to show off their dance moves. The venue is clean, tidy and warm.

Playing in the support is a new local band, Kaia & The Prophets. The band met at local open mic jam sessions and quickly connected with their passion for rock, blues and reggae. Kaia & The Prophets will deliver a groovy set performing some well known covers adding their own unique spin on them.

After Skank Bandit takes the stage, two local DJ’s Liam Todd and Fisherman will perform a back to back set. This means the DJ’s will mix songs together live creating a spontaneous and funky set. Todd and Fisherman are set to get the dancefloor bouncing with a mixture of deep house, classic doof doof and some original thumpers.

Todd, who runs his own record label Rays Records, has recently returned to New Plymouth after a stint in Wellington. Todd is excited about his first live gig back in New Plymouth, “I’m really looking forward to playing my first gig in a while and laying down some filthy beats for the dance floor”.

Skank Bandit’s plan is to release one single at a time until the full album becomes available.

Follow them on Spotify, iTunes, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with new music releases and events.


Next: Celeste Music releases 'Beautiful Words' EP with LiveMusic.LiveDance

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