Bim Skala Bim (Bim) returns to the Coma! Bim continues “the summer of ska” supporting their new release Chet’s Last Call at the Beachcomber Wellfleet, MA with special guest King Hammond.

I have planned my last five years of summer outings on the Cape around Bim at the Beachcomber in Wellfleet, MA. Bim Skala Bim was one of the first American ska bands formed in the early ’80s. Their sound is that of the traditional older-style ska and have added more of an upbeat reggae feel to their songs. Following in the footsteps of pioneers like Bob Marley, The Skatalites, and The Specials, Bim Skala Bim has left their mark as legends in ska music.

I first ran into Dan Vitale, the singer of Bim, in the summer of 1996 at the funeral of a mutual friend of ours, Glen Sherriff. Glen, along with another friend of ours, Scott Kradolfer, were dedicated fans of Bim and another band Dan fronted called Steady Earnest. Soon after Glen’s passing, Grant Thayer, the keeper of the Boston ska scene, organized a “Glenefit” as a benefit and a tribute to Glen. The Glenefit took place in September of 1996 and featured all of Glen’s favorite bands: The Loins (formerly The Tender Loins), The Allstonians, Bim Skala Bim, and Steady Earnest. Glen was immortalized by Steady Earnest when they featured his image on their 1999 release Nerve Steadying Spirits. I was lucky enough to see Steady Earnest reunite again in 2011 to open for Bim Skala Bim at the Coma in memory of Glen. Every time I see or hear Bim it reminds me of my connections and six degrees of separation through the many “Friends of Glen”.

The band went on stage in true ska style and got the shoulder to shoulder crowd jumping in unison with Jah Laundramat, Tell Me Tami, Wandering Soul, Hypocrite, Chief Inspector, Start Again, and 8 Track Mind. Even the tourists, those from out-of-town, and those who had never heard of Bim Skala Bim, did not stop moving as they dropped the pedal to the floor with Cool Nights, Summer Of Ska, Run Joe, Paraguayan Sun, Bangin’, Set Me Up, At Wo’s, Everybody’d Got Their Style, and People In The World.

Bim gave the crowd a much-needed rest before starting the mash-up all over again. They got the crowd jumping with Diggin’ A Hole and Pete Needs A Friend before inviting the legendary King Hammond to the stage. King Hammond (Nick Welsh)  hails from the UK and is a Grammy winning song writer.  He was also a member of Bad Manners and The Selector!

King Hammond continued the ska fest with Riot In London Town, Memory Train, Monkey Boots, Rockin’ on Ridley Road, I Am Your King, and Skaville UK.

Bim finished the night with On The Dance Floor, Fat Head, Simple Song, Set It Right, Shakin’ All Over, Solitary Confinement, Blue, Pretty Flowers, and Better Get Out before the lights came on at closing time. I know there were a few songs they did not play on the set list and I’m already planning and looking forward to my summer outing with Bim in 2015.

Bim Skala Bim
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King Hammond
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About The Author

Bill grew up in and around Boston in Dorchester and Quincy and still lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts. A life long musician cutting his teeth in punk, hard rock, and metal he still plays and records with his band Third Knuckle. Bill has taken photos of local Boston bands for several years helping bands as a favor to other musicians and as a hobby for bands recently shooting The Cro-Mags, Comeback Kid, Anit-Nowhere League, Death Before Dishonor, Slapshot, Ignite, Guttermouth, and Sloppy Seconds. Bill shoots under BAMF Photography and started shooting & reviewing for the NRR team in early 2014.

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