Ska got into my consciousness when I was 5 years old, about the year 1983. Bored of listening to the kids classic Captain Beaky over and over again I put on my young uncle’s The Specials LP instead, winning instant kudos to his teenage eyes. I’ve had a taste for it ever since.
There’s a great tradition of UK Ska/Ragga Punk/Metal of course (to somewhat crudely enmesh my genres), and in recent years some more than half decent south East Wales outfits have flirted with outright success- thinking here of the closely related Dubwar and Skindred. Dirty Revolution, who headlined at the Meze Bar Oct 28th are in thisilk. The best cackhanded comparison I can make as to there seamless and unique sound would be that they are not really much like Back to the Planet, yet without the overt pop flirtation and right-on
slogannering. Not with counting The Slits it is still difficult for female fronted punk outfits to get deserved credibility. Think how Debbie Harry struggled to win over the Ramones (‘the biggest difference between us and them is we don’t dance around showing our knickers’) but Dirty Revolution’s front-lady Reb works the crowd into a mild frenzy without using post-feminist performance cliches. Sexy but not obvious. This is helped no end by the steady two tone rhythms that build to pulse racing electrification with help of the ying to the yang guitarists. One cute and boyish looking- the other with a more meaty charm. Music however is not always so concerned with the cosmetic and the aesthetic and Dirty Revolution are tight. Not tight in that energy sapping over performed way, but in that raw yet somehow flawless way. How else did they manage to take a crowd of musicians and musos, usually to cool to dance, and by the third song in ensure they were most of them moving, if not out and out pogo-ing.
So, to spin it in summary, Dirty Revolution are a Welsh band, an anti racist band (“nazi music is not music it is spit and vile”), and for sure they are one hell of a Ska Punk band, at its knee pumping best. And I woud know too, I used to listen to The Specials when I was FIVE
Live @ Spillers Records – Cardiff