Our first of the 'birthday celebratory gigs' is highlighting one of our favourite genres: ska/reggae. So, really, we had no choice but to ask the home-town favourites JB Conspiracy to come and show us what they've produced with their new album. Supporting them are heroes Tree House Fire who never ever fail to shine and get us singing along. The local Key Lime Pi show what Alton itself can produce, and we have a young band to add to the mix to complete the line-up. We simply can't wait for this.
The illustrious bands:
The JB Conspiracy - 7 piece ska/punk/rock/reggae from London.
Here's a review of their latest album from New Noise magazine by Mick R that puts it better than we could:
Don’t be fooled by the title of their latest albumBeginnings; The JB Conspiracy have secretly been moving pieces around behind the scenes for years. Biding their time. Waiting for their opportunity to strike and put their plans into motion. As it turned out, June of 2021 was that time. Don’t ask me why. I just report the facts. The whos, whats, and wheres. The whys are left to higher minds … or, you know, London ska bands like The JB Conspiracy.
The JB Conspiracy first formed in 2007 and share some membership with late ’90s, U.K. ska band Duff Muffin. Despite the name of their most recent album,Beginningsis actually their third. Sort of like doing a prequel for the third film in a trilogy. Or maybe it’s to launch a second trilogy out of the ashes of the first?
Either way,Beginningsis a fresh take on the band’s bombastic ska-punk sound that I think has some timely callbacks to a past era whose sights and sounds are quickly re-establishing themselves. Specifically, The JB Conspiracy is reaching for the pop-emo and big-ticket pop-punk relevance of a Fall Out Boy or Taking Back Sunday on this release.
The arena-sized sound that the pop-emo of the ’00s and ’10s eventually wound its way up into being never really had a parallel in the realm of ska-punk during the same era. The closest that we got were RX Bandits and Streetlight Manifesto. But RX Bandits were only ever willing to flaunt the experimental nature of their sound as opposed to its “Biggness” or catchiness, and Streetlight Manifesto just always seemed a better fit for the atmosphere of a small club.
That is not the case forBeginnings. The JB Conspiracy wants you and a couple thousand of your closest friends to be pogoing and skanking together in a recently reopened soccer stadium. Anything more parochial would be shortchanging their ambitions under-appreciating their sound.
There are definitely moments onBeginningswhere I had to double-check that Patrick Stump was not actually fronting the band or that Pete Wentz didn’t have a writing credit on any of these tracks. Some of these hooks are so big and glamourous it’s hard to imagine that there wouldn’t be any of the Wilmette band’s DNA in the structure ofBeginnings. This is all worth mentioning, only because I think it is working for The JB Conspiracy.
With big theater and arena shows potentially coming back this year, we’re going to need bands with sounds blown out enough to fill those spaces and be worth the wait in quarantine. And The JB Conspiracy is right there in the sweet spot to get in on this action. HadBeginningscome out two years earlier I would have thought they would have sounded dated, but at this moment, a younger cohort of rock fans are just rediscovering a whole spectrum of sound that for people like me was just what contemporary rock was like during highschool.
A lot of that stuff has aged pretty well though, so it’s not surprising that kids would be picking it up today, and The JB Conspiracy seems primed to mop up pretty well and make some new converts to their cause. That is, if they play their cards right (which would mean just playing their new albumBeginnings,live)."
Tree House Fire:
THF style is deeply entrenched in reggae with lyrics and melody that presses all the right buttons giving the audience something to think about while jamming to the infusion of reggae, hip hop and Ska with a riff or two of rock on lead guitar.
The popularity of the band has seen them share the stage with the likes of The Skints, Reel Big Fish, Anti Flag, Katchafire, Mad Caddies, Macka B, The Beat, The Selector and New York Ska legends The Toasters, along with numerous festival appearances including the UK’s largest reggae and Ska festival, Boomtown Fair, alongside established acts such as Damian Marley,Madness, Cat Empire and Anthony B, to name but a few.
Albums released to date:
2012: debut album ‘ROCKET’ still one of the favourites with fans.
2014: ‘Actions Reactions’ spent a number of weeks in the top 5 ITunes Reggae chart and strengthen the bands fan base further afield.
2016: THF released “Coming in Hot”, a 6-track semi-acoustic EP which showcased both the band’s musical maturity and their ability to write soulful, melodic reggae with thought-provoking lyrics. The release was supported by a video for the title track from the EP which features on the band’s YouTube channel – a channel that has received in excess of 100,000 views to date.
2018 saw the release of their second 6 Track EP “FOOLS GOLD” Which is also the title of the first single off the EP. This EP has a slight directional change for this 5 piece BRIT REGGAE act – there’s a little more heat in the FIRE and they collaborated with other producers on this EP one of which being Curtis Lynch famed for his work with Gorillaz. The whole EP has a rich sound quality and well produced feel to it, akin to a band that you would find higher up the musical food chain, it pays homage to all the sub genres within the reggae spectrum but not too dubby, so has a great sound for mainstream radio and a great listen for old and new school reggae listeners.
It’s been a while since reggae has been in the main stream but as bands go TREE HOUSE FIRE has definitely got the swag, look and commercial sound to kick that door open again.
Key Lime Pi: https://www.facebook.com/keylimepiband
Key Lime Pi are a 9 piece Ska/Funk/dance band based in Hampshire. With a 4 piece brass section, killer vocals and a 2 bass fuelled kick ass rhythm section, you are gonna be on your feet! With tunes from The Specials, Herbie Hancock, The Skatallites and many more, we are perfect for any festival, party, wedding, pub or wherever there is a desire to DANCE.
The venue is:
The Lounge Bar
Doors are 7.30pm. Entry: £9/11
Please note: The event information above has been added by the organiser. Whilst we try to ensure all details are up-to-date we do not make any warranty or representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information shown.