Boston Ska legends Bim Skala Bim playing rare Brooklyn show on East Coast tour
Boston ska legends Bim Skala Bim will soon be embarking on what has become a traditional yearly east coast mini-tour. However, this time around their tour includes a mega-rare NYC date that will find them at Brooklyn's Don Pedro on September 10 with legendary ska icon King Django and NYC's ska-surf-punk purveyors Skarroñeros. Tickets are currently on sale. This will be Bim's first NYC gig since playing CBGB in 2002. Full tour dates, Don Pedro flier, and some choice Bim cuts are below.
Bim Skala Bim were active from 1983 thorough 2002, but at the tail end of 2002 the band went on hiatus. They re-emerged in 2009 stronger than ever (and eventually brought back world-class trombonist Vinnie Nobile into the line-up) and since then they've been doing quite a bit of touring off and on. When Bim came into existence in 1983, ska was sort of splintering into two schools; on the one hand you had ska traditionalists who were keeping the Jamaican and Two Tone ska vibes alive, while on the other hand you had ska bands who were coming straight from the fertile punk scenes of the east and west coasts and creating a third wave of punkier ska. On one side you had pork pie hats and three piece suits, on the other you had mohawks and B.O.. But Bim stayed firmly rooted in a more niche element of ska that incorporated elements of reggae, calypso, and Latin sounds and although you could find me at ska core shows or Moon Records oriented traditionalist shows, I always made Bim a priority as their sound was just that unique and their musicianship that much better. And there was just something so Bostonian about how their physical appearance betrayed the type of music they'd dish out. For example, their bass player looked like he could have been in Deicide, their guitar player looked like he could have been in a grunge band, and the singer just looked like your average blue collar Joe.
I have seen Bim Skala Bim live more times than I have seen any other band. I first saw them as a mullet-headed hillbilly in 1992 at the Cape Cod Melody Tent as part of a Best of Boston music showcase (Boston legends The 360s and The Neighborhoods were also on the bill). At the time my life revolved around death metal, heavy metal, hardcore and punk. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what ska was. But here were these scruffy, working class looking dudes churning out this fantastic 'Boston blue beat' sound (a mix of upbeat 2 Tone Ska, Rock n Roll and a pinch of Calypso, with a substantial Reggae undertone), and there was me, be-mulletted and probably wearing a Sepultura shirt, totally digging it. For much of the 90s I became a bit of a ska fanatic and cultivated a pretty intense skinhead persona, and it all started with that one Bim Skala Bim show some balmy evening in Cape Cod in 1992. I missed that final CBGB show in 2002 and have actively regretted it ever since. This Brooklyn appearance marks the end of a very long 14 year wait.
Bim Skala Bim 2016 East Coast Dates
9/3 New Hampshire, secret show
9/4 Wellfleet MA, Beachcomber
9/5 Wellfleet MA, Beachcomber
9/8 New Haven CT, Cafe 9 (with Rude Boy George)
9/9 Providence RI, Firehouse 13
9/10 Brooklyn, NY, Don Pedro (with King Django)
9/11 Boston MA, Brighton Music Hall (with The Pietasters)