The New Zealand Ska scene has grown a lot in the last couple of years. Acts like The Managers and The Yoots have really come to the fore with their infectious rudy grooves and this year saw the launch of our first homegrown Ska festival – Toots and Grooves. Another band which is really moving the Ska scene forward is Wellington-based Battleska Galactica. 

As you might have guessed by their name, Battleska don’t take themselves too seriously. But they do play some seriously good music. Their sound draws heavy influence from both the original Skatilites Ska sound, and the second wave ‘two tone’ movement spearheaded by the British band, The Specials.

Comprised of six jazz-trained Wellington musicians, they are a tight unit with the skills to really amp up the crowd and at their gig last Saturday at the Mighty Mighty they did just that. It was high-intensity set which had everyone moving to their rapid Jamaican-derived rhythms. I was pretty much stoked with the entire set but in particular their take on the classic horn-infused Specials song ‘A Message to You, Rudy’ (aka ‘Stop Your Messing Around’) really stood out. I also really enjoyed their take on the Tetris theme song – it’s good to see bands have a bit of laugh.

Battleska have an authentic upfull sound that prefectly demonstrates why Ska is such awesome party music. I would highly recommend you check them out if you’re after a fun night filled with irie ska-vibes.

Naram