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Capdown in Bridgwater

Review: Capdown

By contributor Ben Williams
The ska-core band played The Palace in Bridgwater on Thursday, 8 March, 2007. BBC Somerset reviewer Ben Williams went along to check it out.

I had never been to The Palace before, and after a little trouble with the route finder, I eventually found it.

Once inside, you can see the structure of the theatre it used to be, with the balcony still in place.

It is obviously used more as a nightclub than a music venue, but it still works well for live music. The raised section to one side gets as close to the stage as the mosh pit, so you can be right at the front without being battered if you like.

Crazy Arm

Capdown's support band for the night was Plymouth-based four-piece Crazy Arm.

They start their set with a funky bass and drums riff, leading into heavy guitars with some nice off-beat chords - it was a great way to kick off.

Their songs are extremely well written, with some brilliant guitar riffs and nice harmonies in the vocals.

Musically, they play very well together, never out of time - most of all, they looked like they were having fun.

It was just a bit of a shame that a crowd didn't really form at the front - it would have created a better atmosphere.

Nevertheless, they're an excellent band and I'm sure they'll be headlining their own tour soon enough.


After the set change, three members of Capdown walked onto the stage, followed by lead singer Jake Sims-Fielding.

Originally known as Soap, Capdown are from Milton Keynes and mix ska, punk, hardcore, dub and reggae to create their unique sound.

Short for capitalist downfall, they often use political themes and are one of the hardest working bands touring the UK.

Jake Sims-Fielding
Jake Sims-Fielding

Immediately going into a pumping punk-rock song, they got the crowd going straight away.

As their new album, Wind Up Toys, was released last month, they played a mixture of new songs and old favourites - the second song of the night was crowd favourite Ska Wars.

Sims-Fielding is one of the best front men I've ever seen. He has so much energy and enthusiasm on stage that you can't help but like him.

He manages to be confident but never arrogant, something I think is very hard for a lead singer to achieve.

He jumps and runs about the stage, whether he's got his alto saxophone around his neck or not. Interacting with the audience and his other band members, he makes everyone feel part of the show.

At one point, Jake and Keith (guitarist and additional vocals) split the room into a pantomime-style sing-off. It was a draw of course - everyone's a winner.

Not that it's all about the lead singer - Capdown are fantastic live, all brilliant musicians and incredibly energetic. They work so well together on stage, not once trying to over-shadow each other, and always looking like they're enjoying themselves.

After some more new songs, they played some more favourites from their albums Civil Disobedients and Pound for the Sound, as well as the song that brings the old and new together - New Revolutionaries.

For an encore, they played the more funky Bitches and Nike Shoes, and the much-loved Cousin Cleotis.

Capdown are the best band of their kind, in my opinion. And live, they're even better.

last updated: 12/03/07
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