Charlie Harper, UK Subs, punk and ska


This 13 November 2020 music video from England says about itself:

Form Square is the lead single from The Mistakes upcoming LP “A head full of damage”. Featuring Charlie Harper of The UK Subs.

So, Charlie Harper recently not only recorded new music for the UK Subs. He not only made a solo 7″. He not only played harmonica with Brighton all-girl band the Ramonas. He also played harmonica with this band from Poole in Dorset, the Mistakes. With a photo of Paul Simonon of the Clash in the background of the video.

The song is about standing strong in difficult situations.

The Mistakes call themselves ‘punk rock and roll with a ska influence.’ You can hear that influence in the song Form Square.

So, what is the relationship between ska and punk?

In the 1960s there was the first international wave of ska, with Millie Small and other Jamaican musicians.

In Jamaica, it became an influence on reggae. In the 1970s, there came mutual influence between ska and punk bands in Britain and elsewhere.

Like one can hear in Brighton band the Piranhas.

This live video is called Cheap ‘N’ Nasty | The Piranhas | The Prince Albert, Brighton | 30/03/2019.

The song was first recorded much earlier, in 1979.

The Piranhas then became an influence on the bass player/female vocalist of Dutch Cheap ‘n’ Nasty, named after the Piranhas song.

You can hear some ska influence in the Cheap ‘n’ Nasty Covergirl EP, with four songs written by her. Not in the first song, Covergirl. In the second song, Unknown.

This video has all four songs of the Covergirl EP.

And today, there is still ska influence in British punk bands. As not only the Mistakes show. Also this video by Smiley & The Underclass.

This 2020 video is called Smiley & The Underclass – We All Get Like This (Official Music Video). This London band has also played outside Britain, eg, in Germany and Japan.

This 2021 video by Millie Manders and The Shutup is called Broken Record.

They also have a song called Panic. Which, like the recent Charlie Harper song of the same name, is about the threatening climate crisis.

The present line-up of the band is Millie vocals, Alex drums, Don trumpet and sax, James guitar, Georgina, bass.