Kicking of the evening are local ska band, Know One. The seven-piece are more than capable of the task and get the crowd skanking right from the first note. Looking slick in their black shirt, red tie uniform they deliver a great set of classic ska, and although their tracks become a little drawn-out and repetitive at times, they manage to keep the party atmosphere going.
Next up, The Bots have no trouble keeping the energy levels sky high. Fresh from supporting Brit legends Blur no less, the two brothers, aged just 18 and 14, put on a remarkable performance. It may not be ska, but tonight’s crowd are more than happy to jump around to their aggressive punk with driving guitar and furious drums. At times it feels like we’re watching them jam in their bedroom at home which, at best, gives the set a raw feel but at worst is a little messy. Slower track ‘Dinosaur’ doesn’t quite hit the mark and a bizarre synthesizer solo is an assault on the ears but when they hit their stride and flash their cheeky grins it’s hard not to be impressed with what these young boys have achieved.
The Skints soon arrive on stage and show just why so many have come out to see them tonight. They really are a perfectly formed band with each member bringing something unique to the mix. Jon Doyle is a true master on the bass, providing the intricate yet easy-going backbone to each track. Josh Waters Rudge on vocals injects a bit of cockney into their sound, giving the group’s summery reggae a more mainstream, King Blues-esque feel. Marcia Richards is the jewel in the crown with her smooth voice and ability to play almost any instrument, from keyboard to flute. Whilst Jamie Kyriakides is the unlikely hero, proving that men can indeed multitask with expert drumming and effortless vocals. Every song of their set sounds like a sure-fire hit and the audience find it impossible not to move along with the music. Although it doesn’t feel like August outside, in The Winchester tonight it certainly is a warm summer’s evening in paradise.