Just Desserts review in fRoots

“Were I the kind of cheap hack prone to crass comparisons (which I am), I’d describe Baked A La Ska as the Bellowhead of the UK ska scene. A larger than life, good time big band who approach their genre of choice with the requisite combination of affection and irreverence, the Mancunian 11-piece have a chunky brass sound and (as both their name and the album’s title suggest) a love for heinous punning. They’re also partial to unlikely cover versions, here bluebeat-ising the Steve Miller Band’s hoary old Abracadabra, Disney’s Trust in Me and (I kid you not) Britney Spears’ Toxic, all delivered in wallopingly fine style. There’s more fun to be had on tale with a midlife crisis twist Romeo and the good-natured lope of Road to Life. This is a cheerfully impure sound with Balkan and Middle Eastern influences (klezmer percussionist Guy Shalom guests on a couple of tracks) plus a big serving of Madness style music-hall humour, spiked through with dry-as-a-bone Mancunian wit. Their press release states that their live shows are a riot. You can’t usually trust press releases, but in this case I can believe it.” Jamie Renton

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