Live albums are more important than ever in this concert-less year, and if you haven't heard it already, we'd like to turn your attention to Live At Electric Brixton, the recently released live album by the great UK reggae/punk/ska band The Skints. The band writes:

Crazy time to be alive! While Covid-19 has instantly showed us that live music is not the most essential service in a pandemic, it is vital for the soul. We present the first live Skints album from our sold out headline London show in October as a means to bring a Skints show to your home hifi at a time when we should be at a club or a festival near you, but won't be. This show was so special to us; if you were there you know the vibes and if you weren’t you can catch them now! Live albums may be seen as not the in thing right now or a format of the past in a time where everything is live streaming in full video on social media, but we have never been the in thing and have always been old souls at heart. Until we can party together again, turn up Live at Electric brixton LOUD and have a punky reggae party at home.

If you're unfamiliar with The Skints, they totally and seamlessly break down musical barriers and genre. They've toured with American ska-punk bands like Less Than Jake (whose Roger Lima is a big fan) and The Interrupters, and they also collaborated with Jamaican reggae revival greats Protoje, Jesse Royal, and Runkus on their last record (2019's very good Swimming Lessons). That same album also has a straight-up punk song (anti-Brexit anthem "The Island"). The new live album has a medley of their own "The Forest For The Trees" into Chance The Rapper's "Same Drugs" into Freddie McGregor's 1982 reggae classic "Big Ship," as well as a reggae cover of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." They're also on the new Sublime tribute album, and they've done covers over the years of everyone from Descendents to electronic pop singer Katy B to The Cure to The Smiths to ska/rocksteady legends like The Paragons, Ken Boothe, and Desmond Dekker, and it all feels natural inside their unique musical world. If you watched the new White Riot documentary about the UK's punk/ska/reggae crossover of the late '70s and wished there was more of that today, you definitely need to hear The Skints.

It's been a tough year for all bands, but The Skints have been making the best of it, first with that live album and now also with their upcoming socially distanced seated show in Clapham on November 12 (sold out). They were also just announced for Download Festival 2021. Hopefully they've got more to come after that, but meanwhile, stream the new live album and watch a few videos from Swimming Lessons below.

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