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Edinburgh's dirty rotten ska-ndrels Bombskare line up debut gig at Elgin Town Hall as winners of BBC's Best Part Time Band get brassy

By Kyle Walker

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Dirty rotten ska-ndrels Bombskare journey north for their first gig of the year – a headline hellraiser at Elgin Town Hall. Kyle Walker caught up with the band to talk about the show, the new album, and more!

Q Hi folks, how are you getting on today? And how was your weekend?

A Great weekend. Still on a bit of gig hiatus which let's us get back into the studio and work on the ska of the future.

Q You’ve got a headline show at Elgin Town Hall lined up – you’re back in Moray after your hellraiser at Speyfest! Are you looking forward to the gig? Any treasured memories from your previous trips north?

A Yes indeed we're pumped for this show. Not only is this our first gig of the 2020s, which is our fourth decade by the way, this is our first show in Elgin. We've played Speyfest, the Outsider/Insider Festival (whatever it was called), Belladrum, also Nairn, Insch, Inverness probably, but never Elgin. A shocking oversight on our part. We're just glad there's somewhere to play now.

Q 2020’s looking like it’s going to be as busy for you all as 2019 was (and 2018...and every year for you)! Next month will be the year anniversary of A Million Ways to Die though, so I’d like to hear your thoughts on the album before its anniversary. How do you feel about the album now you’re 12 months removed from its release? Have there been any songs that have had a particular resonance with the Bombsquads that make it out to your shows? And are there any bits from the album that you’re still particularly proud of making?

A Yes, it's one year since we released AMWTD and it's still our favourite album. That's ever, by the way, (in your face, McCartney). We're still immensely proud of it, although obviously all our albums are the best ever and everyone should download them immediately, AMWTD was the first time we managed to really capture the sound of all us in a room just going for it. We've had a pretty good response to all of the tracks but for us the standout track in terms of having to play is probably A Million Ways To Die, which we submitted as a contender for the new Bond theme but was rejected on the grounds that it's too awesome, we assume. On an unrelated note, Daniel Craig has blocked us on Twitter.

Q It’s also coming up for four years since you won the UK’s Best Part Time Band competition – and I have to ask, how have things changed nearly half a decade on? How has the workload been over the past four years for yourselves? Are you enjoying more time as Bombskare?

A Yes, four years. To be honest not a lot changed since the TV show. There wasn't a prize but we did get to meet loads of cool bands, any one of them could have won the competition but unfortunately they weren't Scottish Death Reggae so they were at a disadvantage, obviously. The one thing we took from it was that, as far as we know, we might be the only people to ever win a reality TV show whilst drunk.

Q Let’s talk ska – it’s a genre that some people don’t seem to entirely get or be able to agree on what it is? Is it political, is it punk, is it party music (of course, those arguments tend to miss out the idea that ska can be all of those and more)? For Bombskare, what is your definition of the genre? What puts the “ska” in Bombskare, and what is it about the style that you love so much?

A Ska music is dance music. It's like analog techno. If you don't like dancing then ska is probably not for you and you should stick with Mumford and Sons. Also, you should probably check yourself for a pulse. Ska has always been classed alongside Punk as somehow subversive or working class or something. But there can be some confusion because Ska music is Jamaican obviously, then reinvented in the UK with 2Tone, and then again in the US in the 90s with bands like Reel Big Fish. With us, we've just taken elements of all of that, added a dash of lager, some Gamma radiation and a whole shedful of love, et viola, Scottish Death Reggae. You're welcome.

Bombskare play Elgin Town Hall on Saturday.
Bombskare play Elgin Town Hall on Saturday.

Q What has been your standout moment over the past 12 months of Bombskare? Which gig or moment or whatever do you feel that you’ll treasure forever?

A Quite a few good moments, not including the release of our album A Million Ways to Die which everyone should absolutely download right away, but one particularly special one is probably playing the last ever Loopallu, which was great and obviously a bit sad. Probably the craziest was when we played our Skalloween show in Edinburgh dressed as the band Europe with a cover of The Final Countdown. That was a bit mad.

Q What are the hopes for 2020? After Elgin, what have you got planned this year? I see that festivals are already starting to roll in – any trips back up north in the pipeline…?

A This year we may be heading west out to the islands which we haven't done in a while. But we've also started working on new stuff in the Bomblab, the start of our next album hopefully. In terms of getting back up north, there's nothing planned as yet but who knows, we may be asked back to Elgin after Saturday. You never know.

Bombskare play Elgin Town Hall on Saturday. Doors open at 7pm and tickets cost £15 each. Go to www.bombskare.co.uk

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