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Ones to Watch: Buster Shuffle

April 22, 2016

Music | by Elspeth Pierce


Never mind precious gems, machinery and cars, the UK’s most popular and inimitable export is London, cockney ska band, Buster Shuffle. Born and bred Londoners, Buster Shuffle offer a distinctive and addictive recipe of ska beats, catchy indie vibes and classic rock and roll riffs, and they have become a household name across Europe from Germany, France and beyond. Now they are now coming back to good old Blighty, answering the pleas of their loyal fanbase to play on home turf this summer.

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Taking inspiration from the likes of boogie-woogie legends Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, combine that with the edginess of The Specials, ‘shades of class’ Britpop acts like Blur and Supergrass, along with elements of the effortlessly charming ska pop of Madness, and you have the essence of this one-off band. It’s a winning combination.

Go to check them out live and we dare you to keep any part of your body stationary as they launch into their energetic piano-led hits such as Naked, Our Night Out and Me Myself and I. And after the band unleash their unmistakeable charm onto the audience and lead singer Jethro’s finger hits that first piano key, the music takes a hold.

Added to the guaranteed damn good night out with your mates that Buster Shuffle accommodates, the lyrics of the eclectic mix of tunes penned by Jethro voice tales of the colourful life of East London night bus dramas; arguments with girlfriends on nights out; badly behaved pet cats; camping trips to Devon and all things that their firm followers can relate to in their daily lives. This serves to make the band feel less like intimidating shoe-gazing musos separated by instruments and amps and more like your long lost best mate regaling stories to you in the local boozer.

Having shared stages and pints with the likes the Specials, Chas and Dave, the Wombats, The Holloways and Madness to name a few, this gang are a force to be reckoned with. Music industry greats are drawn to their talent and their latest album cheekily titled Naked was produced by illustrious producer, Paul Epworth’s protégée Jamie Ellis (Florence and the Machine, The Rifles).

Their previous LP Do Nothing (which featured collaborations with Micky Gallagher of The Blockheads/The Clash, Roddy Radiation of The Specials and contemporary indie heroes Ian Catskillkin of Art Brut and Wag of The Infidels) regularly charted on European bestseller lists as well as featuring on BBC Radio and XFM (where frontman Jethro was a regular on Danny Wallace’s breakfast show).

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While part of their time is currently studio-bound creating the next musical treat for our ears – to be released later this year – the other is taken up by their main love: playing live music, which is taking them across Europe and the UK this summer. Kicking off is a gig tonight at iconic music venue Under The Bridge (under Stamford Bridge) they play 3 Generations of Ska, as rising talent leading ska into the future along with the likes of  The Specials’ Neville Staples and ska genius, Dandy Livingstone who gave us A Message to You Rudy.

We will certainly be keeping our ears firmly to the ground and our dancing shoes at the ready as we await news of their forthcoming album release. In the meantime, head down to Under the Bridge tonight or head to Boomtown Festival in Hampshire on the 11th-14th Aug, as part of their packed out summer diary.

Check out their single Naked here:

Words by Elspeth Pierce