To close off the year, we decided to speak to several bands about their thoughts on 2017 in a series called “End Of Year Reviews”. We caught up with Skid, the saxophone player from ska punks, Call Me Malcolm. In this interview he talks us through the best things in what he considers a rocky 2017, and that 2018 can only get better.
Broken Arrow Magazine: Sum up 2017 for you and your band
Skid: A lot of: hard work, new venues, new friends for life and new songs written! We’ve met some fantastic people along the way this year, both fans and bands, and we’ve been really driven about pushing ourselves this year.
Broken Arrow: Favourite show of 2017, both performing and as a punter
Skid: Performing show this year, Jeez that is tough to pick. Probably our last show at Lady Luck in Canterbury – we always get a great reception there and equally Emma who runs the bar is fantastic and works really hard to put good nights on. Always enjoy our shows down there, and we met a new band Smiley and the Underclass who were fantastic if you haven’t checked them out!
Favourite show as a punter – Probably the Green Day show in Hyde Park, mainly because when you’ve got The Hives, Gogol Bordello and then Rancid before them you know you’re going to have an awesome day! It was actually my first time seeing Rancid finally after all these years as well, who obviously didn’t disappoint.
Broken Arrow: Best live band(s) of 2017?
Skid: Easydread – met these guys this year and they have the ability to have anything from a 3 piece to a 7 piece band, and when at full strength deliver 5 part harmonies over beautiful ska. They invited us to play at this Christmas gig this year and things got pretty messy…!
Broken Arrow: Most ridiculous thing you have seen in 2017? (can be at a gig or anything in general)
Skid: People forming a human pyramid in the mosh pit at one of our shows at New Cross Inn this year…
Broken Arrow: What’s the stupidest thing you did in 2017?
Skid: Getting a £77 Uber home from my work Christmas party despite having a paid for train ticket in my pocket or driving twelve hours in the snow to play a 30min set in Bristol… I dunno, which one do you want to pick? Both are pretty stupid…
Broken Arrow: What’s the best thing you ate in 2017?
Skid: Did a road trip around Europe in October… I think definitely a cheese fondue on the lake in Geneva; I had cheese dreams for about six weeks afterwards!
Broken Arrow: Your favourite releases in 2017?
Skid: I like quite a broad spectrum of stuff that is quite different to some of the other guys in the band and also isn’t just rooted in ska/punk… I really loved the new Beck album this year, I saw him last year and he is still one of the greatest live acts I’ve ever seen. Equally the new Laura Marling record, ‘Semper Femina’ is excellent… There’s an intricacy to her songwriting that quite fairly makes her one of this generation’s greatest.
Jamie Lenman’s Devolver is a phenomenal listen as well (for those who liked Reuben back in the day!). Another one I’ve latched onto is the new The National album ‘Sleep Well Beast’ late on this year and fallen in love with it… there’s something really elegant about the record that I love, the production and thought that has gone into the composition is just excellent.
Broken Arrow: The most underrated releases of 2017?
Skid: I think the new Royal Blood record, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ is really underrated. I think that unlike the first album which just has massive riffs and big choruses, this new record is much more subtle. I think sadly the genius that lies within some of this song writing is lost on the crowd of people they initially sold records to, and the intricacy of the song writing hasn’t really been appreciated. There are accents, stops, breaks, missing beats and real thought gone into the record which I think sadly hasn’t translated well to the audience they once applied to.
Broken Arrow: Favourite musical discovery of 2017?
Skid: My favourite musical discovery has been probably Last Edition – Those guys are just fantastic fun, they’ve got great ska punk tunes, and their saxophonist is simply incredible! Go listen to the album “Best Foot Forward” now! We played a few shows with these guys this year, and are just lovely people.
Broken Arrow: What song was stuck in your head for most of 2017?
Skid: Less Than Jake, anything of borders and boundaries – We learnt the entirety of Borders and Boundaries for our guitarist’s wife’s birthday as it’s her favourite LTJ album, so we couldn’t get any of the songs out of our heads for weeks afterwards. It is also my favourite LTJ album, but I haven’t managed to go back to it yet.
Broken Arrow: Favourite movie of 2017?
Skid: Baby Driver
Broken Arrow: Worst movie of 2017?
Skid: IT – I haven’t seen it, I just hate clowns, so I had to live with 2 months of social media clogged up with pictures of him!
Broken Arrow: Things about 2017 you’d rather forget?
Skid: Man… probably everyone that we thought we liked as celebrities turning out to be a sex pest… It pains me that people we have all looked up to over the years have turned out to be such awful people.
Broken Arrow: Who made the shitlist in 2017?
Skid: See above…
Broken Arrow: Who made the awesome list in 2017?
Skid: Ah just loads of people. All the people we met on the road, all the fans, all the bands we played with… the list is so long.
Broken Arrow: Rate 2017 out of 10
Skid: Personally probably like 5/6 – everyone in the band has had a pretty rough year personally, so I think we’re all pretty pleased to see the back of it.
Broken Arrow: What are your plans or goals for 2018?
Skid: The new Call Me Malcolm album! I’m so freaking excited I can’t even begin to tell you! We are back in the studio late January, and we are releasing the album on 6th April 2018 (first official announcement!) Despite a really hard year for the band, we have managed to write an album that we’re massively proud of, and our plan in 2018 is to play a load more and try and get as many people to hear it as possible.
Broken Arrow: Things about next year that excite you the most?
Skid: The year of the Malcolm!
Broken Arrow: Any end of year messages for fans?
Skid: Thank you so much – you really are what makes this so worthwhile. We have been honored to play for you, and touched that you’ve come out to see us and sing along. We cannot wait for you all to hear the album, it is only through all of your support that we have been able to do it.
For more Call Me Malcolm