CAPTAIN ACCIDENT – LUCKY 7
LUCKY 7 IS THE FEATURE WHERE WE ASK ARTISTS TO NAME THEIR 6 FAVOURITE SONGS BY OTHERS, AND A LUCKY 7TH SONG OF THEIR OWN…
CAPTAIN ACCIDENT creates a unique blend of roots reggae, ska and rocksteady. A sound that is transformed to the live stage with the help of five exceptional musicians. Through numerous festival appearances which include Glastonbury, Bestival, Wilderness, Boomtown and Secret Garden Party, and extensive touring of the UK and Europe, their live show has become one of the most infectious and thrill-inducing on the circuit.
Additionally, the band were handpicked by the legendary Toots & The Maytals to support on a run of UK dates and impressed the reggae masters to such an extent that they were invited to perform as full tour support, playing such prestigious venues as London Barbican Theatre, Brighton Dome and Manchester Academy.
CAPTAIN ACCIDENT has also shared stages with many of the most recognisable names in reggae and ska including Suggs, who has been known to invite himself onstage in order to sing with the band, Neville Staple, The Skints, Less Than Jake, The Toasters, Aswad, The Skatalites and Fishbone.
Over to Captain Accident with his Lucky 7, with possibly one of the most personal and beautiful Lucky 7s we’ve ever had…
1. UB40 – Adella
This song will forever be my go-to chill out reggae tune. There’s something about the instrumentation and the layering on this track that always gets me. I very often refer back to Adella for inspiration when I’m writing and mixing as I just love the space, balance and overall sound of the piece. I love the percussive and melodic guitar work, the solid bassline, the floaty synthy parts, the Brian Travers sax, the choppy organ, the drums … Just everything!
The UB40 album ‘Signing Off’ is probably my all-time favourite album. Musically brilliant with important political messages running throughout, addressing issues that are, sadly, still relevant over 40 years later. Despite being a huge fan of Ali Campbell’s vocal, this charming instrumental piece is my favourite UB40 song.
2. NOFX – Linoleum
NOFX is responsible for helping me to discover and shape my music taste when I was a teenager. I had already gotten into a bit of grunge and I was a big Nirvana fan but when I heard NOFX it was like, “Wooooah, now THAT’S my type of music!”. I collected their back catalogue in record speed and would listen to nothing but NOFX for a solid few months. Then like many others, I discovered the Fat Wreck Chords compilations which introduced me to a whole world of punk music that I would otherwise have been unaware of.
One thing that always drew me to NOFX was their awesome use of vocal harmonies which complimented the super-fast, melodic, catchy-as-hell punk rock so well. I started writing more punk inspired music for my band at the time and we began using more vocal harmonies. Linoleum was the leading track on the first NOFX album I owned and was the soundtrack to many of my walks to school!
3. MAD CADDIES – Road Rash
I first discovered my next favourite band on one of the aforementioned Fat Wreck Chords compilations and, again, the band became all I could listen to for a while! This was the first ska-punk band I really got into and although Road Rash isn’t typically ska-punk, it was enough to get me eagerly seeking out the entire Mad Caddies discography.
I listened to a lot of ska in my childhood and have always been a big reggae fan so hearing a punk band bringing in these influences was mind-blowing for me at the time. This led to me discovering a lot of other ska-punk bands and it became the genre I really fell in love with in my late teens and early 20s. Consequently, my band at the time then drafted in a saxophone and a trumpet player to give our punk band more of a ska edge.
4. BOB DYLAN – Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright
I’ve always loved the way some songs can really take a hold of your emotions. This song is definitely one of those for me, in fact probably more so than any song in the world. My father was a singer and songwriter and a real inspiration to me. He performed in many different bands and I was surrounded by music when I was growing up.
When I was 26 we lost my father after a long hard battle with cancer and I’ll never forget his last moments. We were sat holding his hands as he took his final breath, with ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’ playing in the background. Every time I hear the song it instantly takes me back to that evening, filling me with sadness but also comfort and fond memories of my Dad.
5. TOOTS & THE MAYTALS – Monkey Man
I was brought up listening to Toots & The Maytals and they really have been the soundtrack to my life. There is so much soul in Toots Hibbert’s voice and I could literally listen to it all day and I would be a happy man! There’s a dozen or so songs by these guys that are important to me for a number of reasons and although Monkey Man isn’t my actual favourite of theirs (I do love it, but there are others I love even more) this one holds a very special memory for me.
When we were asked to tour with Toots & the Maytals in 2016 I couldn’t actually believe what I was hearing. It was a real ‘pinch yourself’ moment, being asked to tour with my musical heroes! This led to a further two tours with them in 2017 and 2018 and an invite to Europe in 2020. Unfortunately, the latter didn’t happen due to the Covid pandemic and subsequently the devastating loss of Toots Hibbert.
One of the shows at the 2017 tour was at Bands in the Sands, a beautiful outdoor stage on Perranporth beach in Cornwall. In what was most certainly a case of being in the right place at the right time, I was stood watching TATM from the side of the stage when Carl Harvey, the guitarist, came over to me with his ‘Rastacaster’ guitar and said, “Can you play Monkey Man?”. I think he needed to nip off for something. Being left-handed I couldn’t play his guitar but I grabbed my own guitar at lightning speed – no way was I going to pass up this opportunity! Lucky for me I had been playing Monkey Man for years in various covers bands so was confident with the song but I don’t think I have ever felt so nervous on stage, standing next to Toots, determined not to make any mistakes. This is most certainly a moment I will never forget!
6. JAYA THE CAT – Here Come the Drums
This was the very last song I saw being performed before the world took a strange turn and live music all but disappeared for a year and a half. We were touring with Jaya the Cat in Germany and the final night of the tour was just incredible. They ended with a super extended version of Here Come the Drums and the vibe in the room was out of this world. It ended with a massive stage invasion and the whole 700 capacity room were singing the riff for what seemed like a solid 20 minutes.
Listening to the song now just reminds me of how awesome live music was pre-Covid and how awesome it will hopefully be again when things settle back down. The whole International Sound of Hedonism album is definitely a special one for me. I was a big fan of Java the Cat and, shortly after meeting the guys at a show in Cardiff, I received a message from Geoff Lagadek, the lead singer, inviting over to Amsterdam to record some vocal harmonies for their new album. This is something I’ve continued to do ever since and a collaboration I’m stoked to be part of!
LUCKY 7: CAPTAIN ACCIDENT – Playing Field
I wrote and recorded this song during the first Covid lockdown as a reflection on how quickly we had gone from living in a ‘free world’ to the dark place we had all suddenly found ourselves in. “How did we get caught in the middle of this / We’ve seen the whole world change at the flick of a switch / And there’s a million things we didn’t realise that we’d miss / But you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”
There were so many things we took for granted, things that we never imagined being taken away from us. It felt like we had descended into a world of chaos where no one really knew what to do or how to handle the situation. Although I really like the poignant lyrics in this song, I think my favourite part is the guitar solo. The twin guitar sound is something I’ve tried to nurture in the Captain Accident sound and I feel this one fits the song just perfectly. The lyric video features Cardiff City Centre at the height of lockdown, showing the lifeless state of some of the busiest locations around the city.