The Decatonics at The Fiveways March 2014

The Fiveways loves a bit of Two-Tone!

If you want to guarantee a packed night in Charminster then booking a ska band is the way to go and The Decatonics fit the bill for the pork pie wearing locals.

A relatively new band on the scene they've been busy building a good sized following and playing most of the decent sized venues in the area.

Strangely I'd never caught a Decatonics performance before and so I finally managed to break my duck on Saturday night. 

Following our review of Ratrace last month you may have been wondering what happened to their brass section - well wonder no more as Jack Dallard (sax) and Russ Taylor (Trombone) now form a big part of The Decatonics.

Jack appears to be growing into his role and provided a bit of backing vocals and a sneaky little bit of buster bloodvessel/Cathal Smyth dancing. (we saw you)

A strong brass section is the key to a good ska revival band and Decs have this in spades.

Overall I'd have to say I'd go again. I enjoyed their style and I think they'll get better and better as time goes on. I'll be looking out for them on any outside stages to see how things go.

They have the air of a band who are making a real effort to build a good following with an active website and presence on social media and it deserves to be applauded.

If you're a Two-Tone fan then get yourself along to one of their gigs. I think you'll really enjoy.

True to form The Fiveways was rammed to the gills with music fans enjoying a busy and energetic performance from the band.

The first thing that struck me was how like Pauline Black front woman Sally Meaden sounds especially on 'Too much pressure'. One of my favourites from back in the day. Sally eased into her role during the evening and led the banter with the crowd with Bob being her main target. 

It's good to see a good female front person in a local band as there have been some great ones over the years and I'm looking forward to seeing how this relationship with the band develops.

The band were unfortunately hampered in their aim to get the crowd dancing in that the staff had neglected to remove some of the tables at the front thus restricting the shape throwing room.

Undeterred they launched into good renditions of many of the standards of the early eighties and they boys and girls of pub very much enjoyed their set.

I thought their choice of sounds was interesting and showed an appreciation for the genre. I'm a bit of a snob about this sort of thing so for me they were too much Two-Tone and not enough bluebeat. Don't go expecting Toots and The Maytals but if you like The Selecter then this band is for you.

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19 thoughts on “The Decatonics at The Fiveways March 2014

  1. Thanks for your comments Tyrone. I look forward to seeing a bluebeat gig. Let me have your listings and I’ll make sure they get featured on the site.

  2. Hi all , only just seen this online today. Thank you all for your comments, and Stuart for his great review! Good to see we have so many friends and fans commenting. Your feedback is always welcome as well,we do take on board all the constructive criticism so thank you for that. We do always strive to improve as a band and also expand our repetoire, one of the key principals that drives the Decs is that we do like to keep it fresh, for ourselves and our fans! Stuart we have a quite a few bluebeat/trojan numbers that were currently working on which should be emerging in our set soon, so dont be a stranger, it would be good to see you at another gig soon, and thanks again for the review:)! SKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  3. where to start i thought that this was a great and fair review i wish I did not scroll down any further and then I would not have read robs unjust remarks, the decatonics have been improving all the time with becks who wasn’t at the fives and is equally good on the sax or flute, the new drummer steve joining the band and bringing some real drive and passion and making the spot his own, as tracey said the set is tailored to the gig, soul on the sea was on that evening so most of the ska crowd were there, so they tailor a set for people who are viewing the band for the first time by playing stuff they possibly know and like,if they were playing a scooter rally or ska festival then the Trojan etc is aired I got talking to a band member who informed me the band have 75 songs good to go, now I know why two gigs are never the same, agreed tyrone is fantastic and so is sally how any one could say different is beyond me she has the crowd captivated everytime :0)

    1. John thanks very much stopping by and taking the time to comment

      Interesting to hear that they have a catalogue of so many songs. It bodes well for the next time I see them

      Mr Gigsandbands

  4. I have followed the decs from day one, when they burst onto the scene at mr kyps supporting the wonderful souled out south. What a wonderful performance they gave that night and for every gig ever since.
    they continue to get better and better due to dedication and hard work. They rehearse every week to add to and improve there set. They are remember a mod, soul, ska band and at the fives they catered for the crowd that night, had it been a scooter rally no doubt the set would have been different. They do Trojan it sometimes depends what crowd are there. I thought your review was excellent by the way.

    1. Hi Tracy – welcome to the gigasphere and thank you for your comments.

      We don’t perhaps think of the hard work and dedication that goes into forming and improving a band and I’m constantly told by musicians that they are learning new stuff or trying out different things with old songs. The time and effort needed is probably why I don’t play anymore myself!

      Thanks for the kind words about the review. I’m trying to walk the line between being brutally honest and giving bands encouraging and supportive feedback. I’m here to help bands and venues not to make myself look clever so it’s nice to hear that someone appreciates it.

      Muchos gracias Mr gigsandbands

  5. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the gig at Fiveways, I did however have the pleasure of seeing them at The Hop on 21st and Mr Kyps in December.
    Firstly, how anyone can compare a set being played in a pub without a proper music event set up with somewhere as excellent as Mr Kyps bewilders me. It’s like comparing Wembley Arena to a wedding marquee!
    The gig at Mr Kyps was superb, with the crowd ramming the dance floor and clearly showing their appreciation. I loved it and so did everyone around me.
    I take on board some of the comments about the set being very two tone biased, I’m guessing they are playing what tends to get the crowd on there feet and let’s face it that’s what they get paid for. Maybe they will take constructive comments and throw in a few Trojan tracks for good measure, who knows. As for the comparisons with the vocals, I like a female vocal on some of these tracks as they give them a little originality, plus when they cover traditional female vocal tracks she sounds great! I agree the male vocalist is very good and I enjoy the tunes he takes on.
    As for the band not being as good as they used to be…..pahh, they are miles better.
    They are clearly clicking as time goes on and getting smoother and more accomplished with it. Also they now have a new saxophonist making them I believe, a nine piece. More wind, more gusto! Great band – and better!!

    1. Hi Les. Thanks very much for your comments. I agree about the difference in venue. Perhaps we’ll see a different band later in the year.

  6. We have seen these guys a few times.
    They are fun, entertaining. And get more fabulous every time.

  7. Sarah I totally agree with you. I too have seen them on many occasions and they are just fantastic! They gel so well as a band and the new drummer is also an asset and has slotted in like he’s been with them since day one!
    Looking forward to seeing them again soon

  8. I suppose that is just the nature of live music people perceive, it hear it in different ways, i`m only basing it on what i have heard so far..

  9. The guitarists name is Tyrone and I agree he’s very good.

    It’s interesting how three people at the same gig can have different views on the same performance!

  10. Hi, not sure I agree with that in all honesty fella, I was at Fiveways and this is my second time seeing The Decatonics, I saw them Last year a Mr Kyps in Poole and it was a very different sounding band from what i heard at the Fiveways, they were far more energised if I’m honest when I first heard them.They seem to have lost there identity a little, it was very much Ska sounding when I heard them First, and not so much 2 tone, although they still did selector and other 2 tone classics, now there is all sorts in the set, and to be honest it all came across like a good function band not so much a ska band as they claim.. I’m not saying there not a good band because they are, all I am saying is the first time I heard them they blew me away playing Toots and the maytals,Desmond Dekker etc the second time I wasn’t as impressed at all..

    1. Hi Rob, Thanks very much for your comment.
      I agree that they are very much Two Tone and personally would like to see them go back to more original 60s style ska but then that’s my personal opinion and based purely on seeing them once.
      Of course Kyps is a bigger stage and the crowd gets to move around more which is vital for a ska/bluebeat IMHO so they were up against it a bit.
      please stop by again
      Mr gigsandbands

    2. I have seen this band live many times and quite frankly i could not disagree with you more. They seem do to nothing but improve over time. They are so original and the lead singer Sally blows me away every time she is truly fantastic. They remain to be my all time favorite band.

      1. Sarah, thank you so much for commenting. I’m looking forward to seeing them again so I can judge. Unfortunately I’ve only had the pleasure once so to speak.

        Come up and say hello at a gig in the future!

      2. No disrespect to the Decatonics Sarah, they are a good Band no one can deny that, but all im saying is i was expecting more of what i heard the first time a Energy fueled Ska band and it simply wasn’t, now maybe it was a off night, or because it was a different venue i don`t know, but they were very different sounding thats all i can say. And i`m not really sure how you can say they are original, they are after all a covers band..This is just my personal view and i`m sure many people would disagree but its my view and i stand by it.. i will go and see them again, and if it is any better i will say so.. i would just add i thought the the Guitarist sorry i don`t know his name has a better voice than the main singer for the kind of stuff they do..

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