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The Skatalites Announce New Zealand Shows

The Skatalites Announce New Zealand Shows

Thursday 28th August, 2014 9:39AM

Jamaican institution The Skatalites are marking an incredible 50 years as a band with an anniversary tour that will see them visit New Zealand for three shows in December. Pioneers in the genre of ska, the group was founded in 1964 (naming themselves after a recently-launched Sputnik satellite), and in 1965 they released some of the best known songs including the hit 'Guns of Navarone'. Later that year the group parted ways, but rejoined a few times during the 1970s for different projects. In the mid-1980s they reformed and went on to record a raft of new material, and have since toured the globe constantly. Despite a changing line-up during their 50 years in the business, The Skatalites' upcoming jaunt to New Zealand sees the nine-strong group bring original founding member, vocalist Doreen Shaffer, aka the Queen of Jamaica Ska. Here's the details...

The Skatalites 50th Anniversary Tour

Friday 5th December, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland
Saturday 6th December, Bodega, Wellington
Sunday 7th December, Churchills, Christchurch


Tickets will be on sale HERE at UTR from Thursday 4th September.

Here's the video of The Skatalites performing 'Walk With Me' in Holland earlier this year...


Metropolis Touring and Tombowler Presents: The Skatalites

THE SKATALITES are heralding their return to Australia with the celebration of their 50th anniversary. It’s rare that a band can boast of this milestone achievement but THE SKATALITES are more than a band; they are an institution, made up of a collective of some of Jamaica’s finest musicians who not only defined the sound of ska in the 50’s and 60’s but influenced and inspired a number of generations and bands both on their own turf and around the world.

Named after a recently-launched Sputnik satellite in 1964, THE SKATALITES were officially together for only 14 months, but changed the shape of Jamaican popular music as chief proponents of the ska form, backing all the leading artists of the day, including a young Bob Marley, Alton Ellis, and Toots and the Maytals. Skatalites instrumentals such as Tear Up, (the original ska anthem), Guns of Navarone, (which also made the UK top 40), and Ball of Fire all topped the Jamaican charts.

After a hiatus the group reformed in the mid-80’s to a new and embracing audience, including a world tour as Bunny Wailer’s backing band and later for Prince Buster. An album of new material in 1993, called Skavoovee, cemented THE SKATALITES as true pioneers of the ska movement as the rest of the world was in the grips of ska fever thanks to bands like NO DOUBT, LESS THAN JAKE and THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES resurrecting the form. The band’s constant world touring has seen generations of new fans captivated by the now-legendary musicians which includes 9 of the finest brass, sax, horn and string players as well as the first lady of Ska – original vocalist, Ms Doreen Shaffer.

Two step-dance moves, triumphant sax solos and huge smiles all help make THE SKATALITES show an experience. Lead singer Lester Sterling says “The crowd gets wild, the jump up and down, it’s not sit down music!”


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Fri 5th Dec
Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland
Sat 6th Dec
Bodega, Wellington
Sun 7th Dec
Churchills, Christchurch

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