Ska music today is no more fashionable or even more relevant than nu metal or Sunny D. Yet, there’s an undeniable agreement that it is the one of the top genres of choice when it comes to drinking, dancing and drinking a bit more. Like The Specials on a speed binge Imperial Leisure put on a brass filled live show that combines the 100mph energy of a punk band with the chill out ‘it’s almost summer’ vibes of the aforementioned ska movement and an added layer of Beastie Boys inspired hip hop, stirring up one of the most unexpectedly creative yet mental live shows you could imagine.
In the sparse yet perfect surroundings of The Joiners, the most rampant moments of the show are when the eight piece bust out fine-tuned favourites from debut album The Art of Saying Nothing like ‘The Landlords Daughter’ and ‘Beer Belly’, making the fans skank and mosh until their knees give out. With the setlist written on the back of his shirt, having to ask the crowd what the next song is, frontman Denis Smith (aka Dboy Dnice) knows how to charm the crowd making them seem like friends rather than just spectators; from inviting them to jump on stage to soaking them with cider. But with a cheeky grin attached to his face and a Madness influenced North London tone to his voice, all is instantly forgiven.
On a live platform, the band fully rectify the problems that came about with their second album Death to The One Trick Pony, a record that saw them take on a different arguably more mature sound, that didn’t match the chaotic atmosphere they were known for. By sticking to the faster songs like ‘Bitter and Twisted’ the pace of the show never slows down. Even trying out new tracks like ‘Lucky People’ and latest single’ Nasty Boy’ doesn’t stop the audience from making the most of their Friday night.
Imperial Leisure are unlike any other ska band on the scene purely due to their unrivalled showmanship that makes you feel like you’re at the coolest and most unpredictable party in the city. Everyone’s welcome it’s just nobody knows about it…. yet.