Capdown – Koko, Camden

By Tom Aylott

Capdown (by Emma Stone – Leeds Cockpit)

Depending on your sources, this may or may not be the very last show the iconic CAPDOWN plays…ever. Whilst it’s only a mere six months since we raved about the Milton Keynes’ outfit’s return to the London live scene, it appears that the ride is over again, at least for a while. What better way to celebrate then than with the band’s biggest headline show to date?

Before Camden’s Koko venue starts to fill-up though, there’s the small matter of a matinee show across the street at The Purple Turtle. For ska-punk fans, this particular murky Sunday has an all-dayer feel to it.

Opening a very long day is Filaments frontman JONNY ONE LUNG who takes the one-man-and-his-guitar approach to acoustic, rabble-rousing punk. It’s a provoking and quality performance from a man working double-time today.

Former Lightyear-man CHAS PALMER-WILLIAMS takes over next and delivers a set of acoustic punk ditties and anecdotes with all the seriousness of a Lady Gaga outfit. The result is a humorous, if somewhat confusing to some, 25 minutes or so.

TYRANNOSAURUS ALAN impressed with their debut album ‘Campaign’ last year and today continue with a live performance that is energetic, fierce, and goes straight for the jugular. The Medway ska-core outfit (reminiscent of The Flaming Tsunamis and Beat the Red Light at times) still has some way to go, but this performance reeks good things to come. Oh, and human pyramids and stage-diving at four in the afternoon? Yes, please.

Milton Keynes’ other skacore four-piece ANTI VIGILANTE continue to make bounding leaps – this afternoon’s performance is slick, proficient, and crowd-pleasing to say the least, and as the band heads into the studio with Peter Miles to record album number two next month, you can expect good things from them in the future.

A pre-maternity leave DIRTY REVOLUTION closes-out the opening portion of the day. The Cardiff reggae-ska-punkers continue on fine form, providing the sizable crowd with fan-friendly tracks delivered in an enjoyable atmosphere. A rare outing for album track ‘Firing Line’ gets a bonus point.

Over to Koko…

THE JB CONSPIRACY opens the second part of today’s double-bill to an impressively swelled crowd. The Guildford outfit (performing tonight as an eight-piece) is readying a long overdue new album and tonight’s performance acts as a suitable bridge for getting there with a few newbies sliced into the standard ‘This Machine’ tracks.

For his second set of the day, Jon Fawkes leads THE FILAMENTS through a quick-paced set of what is probably best described as politically-charged street-punk with horns. The likes of ‘Bastard Coppers’ still go down a treat from the recently reformed troupe.

With any luck, the next time Punktastic writes about THE SKINTS, the band will have released an eagerly-anticipated second album. Tonight the band continues to cement its position as one of the best live acts in the country, with a solid set (albeit too short for our liking) of flavoursome reggae. We’re guessing that tonight’s headliners, as well as everyone else in attendance, know how good this band is.

So, cometh the hour, cometh the CAPDOWN. Having never made it quite to these heights first time around, it’s somewhat fitting to see somewhere in the range of 1,400 people watching the band. In terms of performance, there’s not much to set this apart from shows earlier this year; an energetic band giving it its all, even if it’s all isn’t quite to the levels it once was, with a crowd giving everything back. There’s sweat pouring from Koko’s every architectural orifice, and regardless of the purpose for those 1,400 people being here (be it nostalgia or a chance to see a band that influenced just about everybody in today’s scene), tonight’s show bears down as the perfect closer – whether it be career closer or just a chapter ending. A quality bookend to a long, but ultimately pleasing, day.