New Town Kings | Wood Recommend

Our Paul dives into another music act you should be listening too…

Hail to the kings.

Hello music lovers, I know it’s been a little while since the last instalment of Wood Recommend, but this year has been, well… I’ll just let you finish that sentiment.

But I am back, and I have an absolutely incredible band to recommend you. One that’s had an unbelievable amount of playtime from me this past year, and who have definitely added some positive vibes to an otherwise bleak saga.

New Town Kings are a reggae-ska band hailing from Colchester in Essex, whose style is a smooth blend of ‘Quintessentially British’ and ‘Caribbean Cool’, like an Apple Cider Mojito. The resulting grooves and hooks will get you moving whether you want to not. For example, the opening track from their 2011 album M.O.J.O – ‘Games That People Play’ will have your shoulders shimmying (as a minimum). 

They fully embrace the relaxed attitude of their reggae roots with songs like ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Star of the Show’, both tracks about making an impression on the dancefloor. The positive vibes of ‘Brighter Days’ focus on embracing life even in the worst times, while more abrasive numbers such as ‘News Stand’ and “Borderline’ maintain a subtly punk sentiment. Their tasteful celebration of a progressive Britain is summed up perfectly in ‘British Summer’ from 2018’s Reach Out.

New Town Kings - Reach Out [Official Video 2018]

Unlike some ska bands, whose songs can get a little repetitive, or who lean too heavily on their horns section and excessively fast tempos, every one of their songs feels fresh, whether from 2008 or 2018. The brass isn’t too harsh, the rhythm’s in no way too hectic, and the vocals are warm and welcoming. They are everything ska should aspire to be.

And this is from a listener who isn’t overly enamoured by the ska genre!

With all that said, New Town Kings are one of my favourite bands of recent times, perfect for blaring at full volume while rustling up some good eats in the kitchen. In my recent Spotify Wrapped, I wasn’t at all surprised to find I was in the top 0.5% of listeners of this criminally underrated band.

At the time of writing this recommendation, the fate of the band is uncertain due to the untimely passing of their guitarist Stuart McClung. Combine this with the waking nightmare that is 2020, as well as the further impact it’s had on the live music scene, now would be the perfect time to show these guys some love. I’ll leave you with a message they so aptly wrote in the song ‘Music’…

“I’ve got music in my life and it fills my spirit,
turn down the speaker but I still hear it,
got music,
don’t you know we got music!?
And I’ve got music in my life,
and it rise above me,
fill up on rhythm when the world seems ugly,
got music,
don’t you know we got music!?”

Listen to New Town Kings.

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<strong>Paul Wood</strong>
Paul Wood

Collector of obscure music. Reviewer of things. Can win a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

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