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Skalloween with The Big Takeover and The Scofflaws
October 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Don’t miss the inaugural “Skalloween” party at The Linda!
$15 advance $20 At the door
The Big Takeover:
Traditionalists or progressives? Fronted by the charismatic Jamaican-born singer and songwriter Nee Nee Rushie, the seven-piece New York band The Big Takeover plays original music that is rooted in and reverent toward the songs and rhythms of Jamaican pop: reggae, rocksteady, ska. They are devotees of Desmond Dekker and the way the old school did it. At the same time, The Big Takeover crosses lines and blends traditions like global pop fusionists. Their deceptively complex arrangements and big hooks connect with the spirit of Motown and the uptown sophistication of the 21st century retro soul and R&B revival scene.
The Scofflaws are a Huntington, Long Island, New York-based third wave ska band that debuted in 1988. Known for their rambunctious live shows, technically proficient horn solos and tight arrangements, The Scofflaws were one of the top third wave ska acts of the ’90s and one of the most beloved bands on the now-defunct Moon Ska label, as well as the center and focal point of the once-thriving Long Island ska scene.
The band originally performed as The New Bohemians, initially with a stronger emphasis on novelty ‘60s, R&B and television-show theme cover songs, bolstered by original ska-oriented anthems such as “Rudy’s Back” and “Paul Getty”. They sold the New Bohemians name to Geffen Records, who had just signed Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, in 1988, and regrouped as The Scofflaws.
The Scofflaws early sound was characterized by strong R&B and jazz influences as well as eclectic covers of such songs as Henry Mancini’s “A Shot in the Dark”, Danny Elfman’s theme for Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and a scorching live rendition of The Skatalites instrumental “Ska-La Parisian”. Original songs like “Ska-La-Carte”, “Nude Beach” and “William Shatner” became cult favorites due to the offbeat lyrics and quirky vocal stylings of bandleader Richard “Sammy” Brooks and trombonist Buford O’Sullivan.
They toured the United States several times, including stints as the openers for Desmond Dekker and Bad Manners. In addition, they toured Europe in 1998 supporting Laurel Aitken & The New York Ska Jazz Ensemble.
The band’s lineup saw frequent changes and served as a springboard for numerous New York ska musicians, as well as sprouting several spinoff groups. Original co-frontman Mike Drance left in 1994 to form The Bluebeats, while bassist Victor Rice went on to be a founding member of The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble and continue a career in music production. Several Scofflaws members including O’Sullivan, Paul Gebhardt, and Tony Calarco also played for fellow Moon Ska artists The Toasters as well as One Groovy Coconut and Royal Roost, and The Scofflaws have often shared members with Huntington disciples Spider Nick & the Maddogs (whose leader, “Spider Nick” Martielli, wrote Scofflaws favorite “Spider on My Bed”).
Although The Scofflaws have not released a studio recording since 1998, Brooks continues to lead the band in live performances within the New York area.