Check out this coool review of our Middle East show in Cambrige,MA with Bim Skala Bim and King Hammond by National Rock Review U.S.A

Written by Bill Jolliemore | on August 24, 2014

Bim Skala Bim (Bim) has been synonymous with ska since their start in 1983. With bands like The Toasters and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, they helped kick off the third wave of ska in the early 1980s. Bim paved the way for Sublime, The Suicide Machines, No Doubt, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, and Big D and the Kids Table.

Although other bands, like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, added their own flavor by infusing ska with hardcore creating skacore, Bim kept more to traditional ska roots.

Bim has had over a dozen talented musicians as members spanning from 1983-2002, releasing nine studio and one live album, before taking a a hiatus from 2002-2009. They went their separate ways with Dan moving to Panama and other members forming and joining other bands.

Bim reunited in 2009, at “The Mighty Mighty Bosstones Hometown Throwdown 12″, and they had not missed a beat since their break in 2002. They have been playing summer shows in Boston and the Cape from 2009 to 2013 when they began recording their latest release Chet’s Last Call on their own label BiB Records.

Bim has done a European tour and a short US tour supporting Chet’s Last Call, and they are in the process of lining up more dates for 2014-2015.

The New Limits kicked off the night stirring up the pot, they formed in early 2013. The band hails from Boston and play a mix of traditional two-tone ska and reggae, fitting in well, and kicking off the night leaving everyone ready for more.

Mr. Kowalsky (Mr. K) grew up in Costa Rica forming his first band in 1995 and moved to Boston in 2008. He was supported on stage by John DeCarlo & Company.

They have their own unique style of Indie Rock and World Latin Music. They played songs focusing on Mr. K’s latest from 2012,  Johnny’s Bazooka, and the 2010 release 13 millas de Libertad. They are writing new music, supporting acts in the local Boston scene, and looking to line up a US, Canadian, and European tour after Mr. K’s next release.

Malabar are originally from New York, but now reside in Boston and are currently supporting their latest The More Things Change album. Their harmonizing, three piece horn section (sax, trombone, and trumpet) with keys, gives a soul filling, upbeat, reggae sound with island beats, on songs like “Tubifer”, “Groove Partner”, “The More Things Change”, “Drunken Discussed”, and “Unity.”

Finally, Bim Skala Bim took command, proving once again why they are one of the best American ska bands to hit the stage. Bim jumped right in with “Pete Needs A Friend”, “Run Joe”, “Diggin’ A Hole”, “Hypocrite”, and “8 Track Mind.”

It was a special night featuring Lauren Flesher and King Hammond on vocals throughout the night. Lauren sang on the original Bim record and King Hammond (Nick Welsh to his friends) is a Grammy winning song writer and was a member of Bad Manners and The Selector.

King Hammond kept the crowd skanking (looks like running man) with “Riot In London Town”, “Memory Train”, “Monkey Boots”, “Rockin’ On Ridley Road”, “I Am Your King”, and “Skaville UK.”

Bim finished the night with “Fat Head”, “Flowers”, “Set It Right”, “Summer of Ska”, “Solitary Confinement”, “Jah Laundramat”, “Wise Up” (slow to fast), “On The Dance Floor”, “Wandering Soul”, “Tell Me Tami”, and “Shakin’ All Over.”

The crowd wasn’t done. Chanting “Bim Skala Bim, Bim Skala Bim” over and over drew Bim back for an encore and a stage filled with members of the crowd, including some of  Dan Vitale’s family and local legend singer/song writer, Riki Rocksteady. They finished the night with “Lorraine”, “Everybody’s Got Their Style”, “Better Get Out”, and “People In The World.”

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