Lancaster Band Weblog » News & Reviews

By: Lancaster Band  11-11-2011
Keywords: Songs




Mike Crawford
- Organiser
“Was a great pleasure having you guys here at the festival. Well done to Christo for a great recommendation. I think he should organize the band line-ups in the future for me.”

Christo Crafford via email
The “boerewors-curtain” (and northern suburbs) will never be the same again … thanks for an AWESOME gig at the Blanc & Blues Festival!!!!!!! LANCASTER BAND F&^$#&^ ROCKS!!!!!! Can’t wait for the next festival.Take care and keep on skanking!

Natalie Says:
You guys were great on Saturday!! will def see you somewhere soon…”

Carol Wagner wrote
“The Lancaster band rocked….”

Githa Skea-Thuesen wrote
“… amazing multi generation family band originating from the 70ies and the southern suburbs, clearly influenced by Madness (still have my vinyls :-)), ska rocking the crowd including their widespread family and friends support … luck is making their acquaintaces!”

Marius Geyer wrote                                                                                                                                          ” …What a band, where my fave SA band in th early 80’s , almost 30 years later and wow, they still cook.”




Sean McGrath writes ….

For anyone that was at BHS at this time, there is a big reunion organised at Mercury on Friday 4th September 2009. We are flung far and wide but there is a real interest in this and people are travelling from all over, not just from the Southern Suburbs, but from other parts of SA as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and Europe. Mercury is about the hippest club in Cape Town, but fear not - you won’t bump into your kids as we have exclusive use of the club for the evening. Read on for registration details.
To make the evening even more enjoyable the entertainment line up is spectacular!

•         Legends in their time, the Lancaster Band will be in the house, playing all their old favourites. For those of you with advanced memory problems or if you spent your school days with your head in your desk check out the history pages on this site. Promises to be a truly wonderful experience

•         An off-shoot from the Lancaster Band, the Absent Follicles will also be gigging on the night. The Follicles play cover versions of all the songs of the time – guaranteed to bring back memories of the time. You name it, they’ll play it

•         Special guest will be renown comedian Mark Banks, another BHS old boy who will be delivering his special kind of stand up humour in a live set designed specifically for the evening and audience

There will also be quieter areas for people to catch up with one another. We know it has been a long time for some!

For those of you that knew him, the sad passing of Richard Hamburger makes this reunion all the more relevant.

Cheers, and see you on the 4th September!



Here is something news worthy … Lancaster Band feature in EAR book on Cape Town.

The Lanc’s are featured on the back cover, full page pic and on the ‘NIGHT’ CD4 audio disc that is part of a product published by EAR Books, Germany. No permissions were asked or granted but the band is promonantly displayed in spite of not having any music included in the audio discs.

This from the EAR site:

Indie Armchair Friday 18th may 2007

Winter gigs at the Indie Armchair have a special charm of their own. The wind may be howling and the rain pouring outside, but inside this cozy venue, a chilled beer in hand and a good band on stage, all winter blues miraculously disappear. Friday 18 May was another one of these with three toe-tapping bands – Lancaster Band, The City Bowl Mizers and Captain Stu and the Llamas - to keep the crowd dancing, the blood pumping and the winter out in the cold.

The evening started off with a true blast from the past as the Lancaster Band managed to impress an admittedly cynical 20-something crowd with their special blend of old-school punk/ska. These guys have been around since the ‘70s and evidently still going strong. A funky fusion of old-school and new-school ska followed as they invited Captain Stu’s brass section to join them on stage for the last few songs of their set. I must admit that I expected the least when I saw these five rather eccentric oldies tuning their instruments, but man did they prove me wrong. What a great set!

Second up were the much-loved City Bowl Mizers, hailing from Durban/London (hmm?). Although I’ve heard a lot about them, I’ve never actually seen these legends in action. Once again, all expectations were surpassed. Their energetic mix of pop, rock, punk, good old fashioned swing and what-what truly got the party started. They played a couple of slow, romantic songs for the lovers in the audience, but the delicate balance was kept in check with a good selection of bouncy songs for the singletons to bop along to. These guys are fantastic. And lots of fun. There were a number of crowd favourites, but “Right Place At the Right Time” definitely stands out.

Captain Stu and the Llamas took to the stage in a final burst of skanking energy. The seven Capetonian rudeboys did a sterling job of keeping the crowd in its dance-happy mood. What’s more is that these boys haven’t been sitting round gathering dust for the past few months, but thrilled the audience with about three or four brand new tracks. And good ones at that! Their unique brand of punk/ska/reggae has really crept deeply into the hearts of local music lovers, assuring them of a tight and supportive fan base.

The evening was one raucous party from start to finish. All three bands did an awesome job of getting the crowd dancing, skanking and jumping around. Everyone left with a twinkle in the eye and a swing in their step.

Pre Zula Bar - 2 September 2006

The almighty original kings of Ska, the fanastically talented, tight as a super-tight thing, entertaining skanking Lancaster Band will be promoting their new EP (which I am still waiting for a copy of) at Zula Bar, in Long Street. These guys know all their is to know about music, and even the young one holds more talent in his little finger, boy does Brett know how to use it. Yes, that was a compliment, from me, directed at Brett Lancaster. So go, give Long Street your Saturday night, and marvel at Lancaster Band showing everyone how its done. Age ain’t nothing but a number baby, unless you under 18. Then you screwed for a while!

Thanks to *J(and Zoe and Zane)

Robertson Rocks Festival December 2005:

“Now here come a bunch of “veterans” up on the stage. The Lancaster Band. All jacketed - two with stylish porkpie’s. There’s a buzz in front of the stage. It’s time for some ska-culture. Robin Lancaster is the lead vocalist with hat, and a guitar over the shoulder, Howard Butcher on bass, Garth Hichens on lead guitar (in a snow white jacket), Harry Lancaster plays drums, Gary Munroe on saxophone and cool shades, and the young Brett Lancaster plays keyboards. And they break into an intense mix of ska-rock energy, a bucket full of lava, a saxophone with twelve tongues and donkeys years of experience. Within no more than a few minutes the entire crowd of 12 to 82 year olds are totally converted.

A broadly grinning Robin says ” We’re the Lancaster Band. We haven’t giggedopen-air since 1982, and it feels GREAT.”

Thanks to 9th feb 2005

Acoustic Café - Muizenberg 17 August 2005:

Robin Lancaster, garbed in a generic style, stepped onto the carpeted podium of Muizenberg’s Acoustic Café. Pensively, he adjusted the microphone stand as patrons filed back into the venue, crowding round the bar and scrambling for the little floor space that separated the band from those who arrived early enough to secure tables and chairs. Overgraze had just completed a vibrant acoustic set and the bar was humming with attendants struggling to satisfy rows of thirsty customers. Outside it was cold and rainy but the tone was set for a luminous night of live entertainment.

The buzz was surreal, echoing flashbacks of a Claremont gig that Lancaster Band played in the1980s with quasi-punk collaborators House Wife’s Choice, albeit Lancaster was never a punk band. Rather, they were and still are a rock group that dexterously infuses their music with ska, the idiom they introduced to South Africa during the era. Reminiscent of that appearance there was a palpable expectation in the air, a kind of tension that excites the audience and musicians alike. Then, choosing a faultless moment, Robin launched into a cabaret’esque delivery of their 1981 hit Modern Science, accompanied only by the gentle acoustic tones of Brett Lancaster’s piano. The rendition was so magnetic that a hush descended on the room, as if the mixing guy had muted more than just the house beats that had passively permeated through the PA. “Sheeez”…murmurs of delight filtered from the mixed audience. It was captivating, punctuated with interluding segments when the poignant vocals recklessly abandoned the audiences’ attention and all that was left was an evocative piano. From there the set developed, picking up in pace and dynamic as an acoustic bass was substituted for an electric, sticks replaced brushes and happy people first sat, then stood and finally danced frenetically.

Leanne Logan succinctly wrote that when the fathers and the mothers of the fans of Fokofpolisiekar were writing their matric exams Lancaster Band was already out there. Today their blend of ska-rock transcends generations, plainly evident from the reaction of the patrons of Acoustic Café on a chilly Sunday night!

Thanks to review

Cape Argus June 23, 2005:

The Lancaster Band are mentioned, in awestruck tones, in the same breath as Kalahari Surfers (the ’80s version, before the trance reinvention), Abstract Truth and Freedom’s Children (the 1978 Lancaster line-up included Brian Davidson), once included Robin Auld and are credited with spearheading ska in South Africa. Expect authentic ska rock from the band that initiated the genre - new for some and nostalgic for others.

Thanks to Evan Milton

White Horse Sessions - 15th July 2005:

Like punk, ska idled a bit in that uncomfortable 1985-1995 decade, when no-one knew whether they should go fight Cubans in Angola, move to France and sleep with Japanese women or just stay home and mow the lawn because the rugby’s starting in ten and “isn’t that Gloria Estefan playing on the radio?” Both punk and ska are back and big business. And where’s Gloria now? But the ””’okes from the Lancaster Band are still here and they’re ‘experienced’ – they’ve been around since the 1970s:

When the fathers and the mothers of the fans of Fokofpolisiekar were writing their matric exams, Lancaster Band was already out there, introducing ska to South Africa. Now, a whole Mandela prison-stay later, they’re back. And brilliant. Their fast paced tunes, strewn with nifty synth-spots, enough brass to furnish a small posh bathroom and those hats (yes, those hats) will get you doing funny bum-dances in no time at all.

Thanks to Leanne Logan

The information in this article was current at 08 Nov 2011

Keywords: Songs

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The idea of taking back the streets on a Saturday night arose from a number of conversations with friends that wanted to do something other than just “eat out” at the latest and newest eatery that offer very little vibe and even smaller portions of food.



We love the fact that they were instructed by the SANDF to change the band name or face detention … those were the days!!!. The Greshoff boys, Adrian, Bobby and Martin and Chris Quirk could conjure a throbbing groove and despatch a lot of blood. WHO CAN REMEMBER THESE GREAT CAPE TOWN PUNKS - PERMANENT FORCE AKA PRIVATE FILE. WHO REMEMBERS THE FREEDOM FARM FESTIVALS - HERMANUS - LATE 70?S - EARLY 80?S. Harry Lancaster & Hamish Davidson.