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Baked A La Ska - Skalloween

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 11 / 11 / 2019

Baked A La Ska - Skalloween
Label: Limefield Records
Format: CD


Superb fifth albm from eleven-piece ska band Baked A La Ska who take an electic bunch of source material and give it a satisfyingly spooky sound

It was back in 2012, with the launch of their second album, 'Just Desserts',that I first came across the fantastically named Baked A La Ska. They made me love their version of 'Toxic' by Britney Spears. Even for a two-toned nutty girl devoted to ska that's no small achievement. They describe themselves as "a band of assembled oddballs and pranksters brought together by keyboardist and wizard Mr John Ellis, fronted by an unholy trio of singers: Frank 'The Skank', Tommy Robot and Kuntri Ranks, who combine with the soft lilt and harmonica magic of Robin Sunflower. Baked A La Ska also feature one of the tightest rhythm sections in Manchester with the “chops to make you drop”. This is an inspired mix of spooky, sci fi and the occasional scrumping songs. I did wonder for a moment if opener 'Calling All Ghosts' was a reworking of a Call Of Duty song of the same name. It's not, it's an original track that sits comfortably next to a take on 'Ghost Riders in the Sky' that I'm confident Johnny Cash himself would approve of. The discordent twangs in 'The Addams Family' just crack me up but then it all goes a bit whirligig crazy. It is a bit of a Marmite track that divided opinions. 'There's A Ghost In My House' is exactly what you'd want a ska version of the R.Dean Taylor 1973 top 10 hit to sound like. I like it even more then the Baked take on Fleetwood Mac's 'Black Magic Woman', despite it being even more sinister than the original. 'Pesky Kids' is my favourite though. I can't accurately describe what it sounds like when the Wurzels get busted by Scooby-Doo and gang. Seriously no number of words is going to do it justice. You just have to go and listen to it. 'The Imperial March' could well be to Baked A La Ska as 'Swan Lake' is to Madness. 'Ghostbusters' lends itself willingly to a skank beat, while 'Old Devil Moon' is a slightly calmer end to proceedings. Even restless spirits need the occasional slow number at the end of the night. This is a freakish and fresh fifth album. It plays with its theme, but doesn't stick to it so slavishly it can't be played at any other time of the year.

Track Listing:-
1 Calling All Ghosts
2 Ghost Riders in the Sky
3 The Addams Family
4 There's a Ghost in My House
5 Black Magic Woman
6 Pesky Kids
7 The Imperial March
8 Ghostbusters
9 I Put a Spell on You
10 Old Devil Moon

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Gas Mark 3 (The Slow Burner) (2015)
Manchester-based ska lunatics Baked A La Ska bring the party with their latest album
Just Desserts (2012)

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