Krakow,  May 24, 2016


The Toasters in Krakow! The Toasters come to town! Again! How cool! The living New York City ska legends are currently celebrating their 35th anniversary. And they are busy touring Europe and soon also the US. No rest for the wicked, but they are doing very well and coping with all the pressures of extensive touring and occasional rudeness of the world. Come on Rudie!

The Toasters were formed in NYC in 1981, inspired by seeing UK's The Beat performing in the Big Apple. And so the third wave of ska pioneers played their first concert with Bad Brains in a famous New York club called A7 the same year. Then they worked with that magnificent old punk rocker Joe Jackson gigging together at the CBGB and playing on, mixing and producing a couple of records like Recriminations, Skaboom! or New York Fever.

There have been very many lineups since those early days and many superb albums on the way. And although Robert Hingley, the band's leader, singer and guitarist is the sole survivor now, he is a great ska flamekeeper and there's always new blood rushin in. And so it is very likely that he and The Toasters will go on forever.

Before the famous Ska masters appeared, there was a Polish supporting band called Skadyktator who play ska, of course, but also introduce some elements of jazz, rocksteady and reggae. Their performance was lively and varied. I think I even heard a cover of the jump blues Caldonia (in this case, it was probably Skaldonia).

Then the stage was taken by the most wanted. The Toasters themselves again invaded Krakow. What a treat! It was their (I guess) fifth visit to our town and let us hope not the last. And the gig was the final one of their European tour as well. The concert was sheer two-tone madness and a nuclear blast. They performed as effectively as a very well-oiled machine. Of course, if machines could be human. Well, they might be quite soon, but until that horrible moment we can still rely on Robert Hingley aka Bucket and his hard swinging friends.

That night The Toasters offered a string of their greatest hits including Weekend in L.A., Pool Shark, Pirate Radio or I'm Running Right Through the World. They were jammin', the crowd was skanking and for a moment could forget how bad the world today is. Robert's unique and ungorgettable singing style together with his hot guitar playing were some of the highlights. And the Euro-American line-up gave him the fully sympathetic support. Just another great Ska Night!

The young lady who put on the show was a Rudegirl called Oika. She's a dedicated fan of The Toasters and ska music in general and is a good friend of the band. She organized their Krakow gigs in the past and promises to do so in the future. So, hope to see you guys next year! And those of you who cannot wait that long, you can just follow The Toasters on their forthcoming American tour in June, July and August.













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