A special brew from Bad Manners in Kirkcaldy

Buster Bloodvessel - lead singer of Bad Manners at the Windsor Hotel, Kirkcaldy  (All pics by Athena Richardson)
Buster Bloodvessel - lead singer of Bad Manners at the Windsor Hotel, Kirkcaldy (All pics by Athena Richardson)

Kirkcaldy’s Windsor Hotel makes a strong case for being the town’s best gig venue.

Really, on a night like this one, another triumph for the local Rubber Stamp Promotions, there’s nowhere else like it for creating a vibrant, enthralling and superbly sweaty atmosphere and the brilliant Bad Manners would probably agree as they made their third appearance there in the last few years on Saturday night as part of a UK Christmas tour.

The Gimmes Gimme Gimmes

The Gimmes Gimme Gimmes

But it wasn’t all about the ska legends as they had some admirable support on the bill ahead of them.

First up were Scots band Gimmes Gimmes Gimmes – five men with a unique selling point.

The band deliver ramped up versions of classic songs, which must have been written or co-written by a Scot, with well-known punk riffs weaving their way through.

So for example if you were ever wondering what a full octane take on Stealer’s Wheel’s ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ would sound like with Stiff Little Fingers’ ‘Alternative Ulster’ bolted on to it, this is the band for you.

The Ramones match up with a Bay City Rollers medley and Frankie Miller’s poignant ‘Caledonia’ meets ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’.

All good, clean, marvellous fun from a band who don’t take themselves remotely seriously and are clearly having a great time.

Next up is Max Splodge, former frontman of early-80s new wave band Splodgenessabounds, who mixes in a few punk covers with songs of his own, finishing off with – what else? – ‘Two Pints Of lager And A Packet Of Crisps, Please’.

The DJ runs through a set of ska classics which whips the crowd up and beginning with ‘This Is Ska’, Bad Manners work through a ridiculously entertaining and energetic set and the packed room responds in kind.

The band have recently returned from a triumphant string of dates across South America and are in superb form and deliver all the songs which made them a regular feature in the top 20 in the early 80s, ‘Special Brew’, ‘Lorraine’ and ‘Just A Feeling’ and others, all sounding fresh and exciting, alongside some well-chosen covers and with a blast through an encore of ‘Lip Up Fatty and ‘Can-Can’ it’s been a gig to remember.

Yes, it’s a long time since the chubby, teenage Buster Bloodvessel pitched up regularly with a string of unforgettable appearances on Top Of the Pops during the band’s chart pomp, but on this showing they still have plenty to offer.