K and I went to the Montreal Ska Fest and SAW THE SKATALITES!
The Skatalites are a ska band. They are, like, a big time, original status, founding-royalty ska band from the first wave of Jamaican ska. They also played with pretty much every ska artist on the island of Jamaica in the sixties--as Rolling Stone put it, they were "Jamaica's answer to the Motown house band and Booker T and the MGs combined." PJ Patterson, the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, managed them for a while in his youth!
They used to look like this:
Now they look like this:
Only one of the group's founding 1964-era members is still playing, the alto saxophonist Lester Sterling:
...but the band is still FREAKING AMAZING. The set was awesome, the show was great. Doreen Shaffer, also a legend in her own right, has been singing with them since the eighties and I want to be her when I grow up because as older ladies go she is pretty awesome:
Other highlights of the evening included:
-The Ska-Mones, a Ramones tribute ska band who we missed by arriving late(!);
-Eastern Standard Time* and Mr. T-Bone, otherwise known as All the Same Guys With Two Different Band Members Fronting/On Vocals, both of whose sets were absurdly awesome and all of whom were very dapper and sported pretty schmancy facial hair;
-Danny Rebel and the KGB, who are always a delight; and
-The Harmonauts, my favorite Torontonians, at the afterparty at L'Absynthe, which was excellent and along to whom K and I skanked up a storm, and after whose set we made new friends! From Edmonton! Exciting.
*The ladies on the Eastern Standard Time homepage are well dressed and generally awesome-looking!
AND APPARENTLY someone has already put video up from last night's show! Here we have: THE SKATALITES!