Infectious, energetic musical dynamism from The Skabengas. We’re all for authentic band names from South African culture.
A skabenga of course is a gangster, a hustler, and/or a charming rogue in the SA English dialect. According to the Oxford Dictionary of South African English, the word comes from the Zulu isigebengu, a bandit or plunderer. the earliest usage they cite is from 1953 in Mamba’s Precipice. “Like a trapped wolf, the skebenga died, knowing he was caught, but growling curses.”
As we recall, you usually say, “You bladdy skabenga!” The name also implies that the Skabengas rock a style of ska music, but that flavour is quite subtly delivered in this debut EP. The pervading impression is of raucous, brassy, gypsy jams with a high fun quotient.
These dudes have also been listening to a lot of Gogol Bordello. But we’re not about to hold that against them. “A ou could do worse,” as a skabenga might say. We missed them at the Bohemian last time so we could get ghoefed and watch the Lions lose to the Stormers.
Not making that mistake again, this music screams “great night out”. Check out the tunes.