The Skatalites
Platinum Ska
Island Empire

Not so much a band as an institution, The Skatalites, who perform live at Hang Out, in Sai Wan Ho, on Tuesday, helped create and define ska, the 1960s musical style that put Jamaican music on the international map. Combining calypso, jazz and American R&B, ska was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae and went on to become one of the most popular genres. Britain’s 80s ska revival, featuring legendary bands such as The Specials, The Selecter and Madness, found a huge global market for the danceable offbeat sound. Having worked with a large number of artists, including Prince Buster and Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Skatalites’ new album, Platinum Ska, features only one founding member, Doreen Shaffer, although that’s not important as the band were always a rolling contingent of Jamaica’s finest musicians. The sound is undeniably theirs but there’s a new sense of lounge music to some of the tracks, especially the somewhat cheesy opener, Calabash. A good introduction for those unfamiliar with their soundbut not a huge musical progression for the diehard rude boy (not that he’d be looking for one).