@ Leeds Cockpit

Five or six years ago, you couldn’t move for the vast number of trombone-toting ska-punk outfits doing the rounds. Whilst it’s a blessed relief that most of them have buggered off, the imminent demise of Capdown has certainly drawn out the well-wishers. With the Cockpit packed out, tonight’s performance is viewed from the back, so it’s hard to soak up the atmosphere that’s being created towards the front.

The ten years or so Capdown have spent toiling has resulted in a band sounding tighter than most of their ilk, though the band are more faithful to the political spirit of the Specials than the fun-loving frat party ska of Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish. In short, no ‘comedy’ covers of ancient 80s tunes.

Capdown round off their set by splitting the audience down the middle and indulging in some good old-fashioned call and response during ‘Action Nation’ (one side shouts ‘action, the other ‘nation’) before bowing out with the wonderfully-titled ‘Ska Wars’.

Yet even such a spirited performance, in spite of frontman Jake’s sore throat, cannot paper over the fact that the ska-punk thing is dead in the water. Perhaps it’s just as well Capdown are jacking it in.

Ross Halewood