So it’s 1981 and I wake up on the floor of Ken’s bedsit wearing an internal balaclava…
It'd been a heavy night and we wake in the early afternoon and go off in search of breakfast. Leaving the house there's a taciturn note pinned to the door "Blues at 26, all welcome".
As I stare uncomprehendingly Ken slips into his best patois* "A 'ousparty man" and we wander off to the greasy spoon.
Later Ken, his girl lottie and I find ourselves outside number 26 as many people carry many speakers into the tiniest 2 up 2 down in the Highfields district of Leicester and so begins a love of reggae and it's children that has lasted thirty odd years.
Fast forward to Thursday night in Bournemouth and as far as is possible in our health and safety days I'm transported back to the blues and the ear splitting gut churning basslines that turn music into feeling.
First up at Eden is one of the areas better bands - Dubheart. More hardcore roots than the headliners IMHO the band have a great local following and they are out in force on a school night in Bournemouth.
Eden fills up to what I think is capacity and Dubheart move through a catalogue of thrumming bass riddims heating up the room and the crowd. The quality is there to see and unsurprising given their win in the European Reggae contest a while back.
Vox Tenja lends authenticity to their lyrics and there's some awesome percussion from Fullness and Steve Bongo. Another quality show from the guys.
People move out of the boiling Eden to get some air and we take a breath before The Skints hit the stage.
A band I've never seen live and only enjoyed their recorded music, as it turns out it was worth the wait.
Without delay we're into the good stuff and their catchy, ever so slightly poppy tunes are matched with an uptempo ska/bluebeat/reggae/jungle compound which delights the audience.
It turns out I was wrong about Eden being full. It's actually properly full for The Skints and moving around becomes difficult. The place is so packed that dancing is nigh on impossible so enjoying the music whilst stationary is the order of the day.
Early on I'm struck by the resemblance between the sound of vox/keys Marcia Richards and Janet Kay fleeting in places, because Richards moves between a kind of Lily Allen and Modern 'lovers' rock' depending upon the tune.
Tight and working the audience well, the band make the best of a small stage and give a superb set. The sound is London via Europe and Kingston but again, for the modern age.
Pick of the night for me was a toss up between 'Eyes in the back of my head' with machine gun toasting from Josh and "This Town". You need to check out their collab with Tippa Irie (left).
Truth be told they looked like they were enjoying it and there was some exceptional work from Bassman Jon and sticks/vox Jamie.
All in all a triffic night. Hot, crowded and just right.
Find more skints here http://www.theskints.co.uk/home
and on soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/the_skints
and facebook https://www.facebook.com/theskints
Dubheart are here http://dev.dubheart.co.uk/
on facebook https://www.facebook.com/dubheartrootsrockers
and soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/dubheart