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Hepcat Skank to Long Beach: SoCal ska/reggae stars Hepcat play Alex’s Bar in Long Beach on Saturday night, in what will surely be a riotous event. The band has been kicking around since 1989 and has developed a reputation for a stellar live show.

Back in January of 2020, singer Greg Lee told us that: “We were swept away in the ‘90s ska boom, because all these bands that picked up playing ska all around us, or who had played before us, were suddenly top of the pops. We just kept doing our thing. Like, it’s good for them. A little weird, y’know? But we’ve been on that trip ever since. We’re not following the same motivations as the other bands that we’ve come to know over the years. We came to know this past year when the Pick it Up! Ska in the ’90s documentary came out and everybody told their stories — No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, all these people told their stories about trying to make it big using ska in the music industry. We didn’t know anybody was about that. We just thought everybody was like us. So there’s nothing that keeps us going — we just are. We started by wanting to play one backyard party a long time ago. That parlayed into a couple of shows, and we kept playing. We love what we do, we love our job.”

Lee told us that there’s still a Coll scene today: “Think of it this way — we’re in a very slow moving time capsule and we’re watching people buzz and whizz by us all the time. I imagine it must be sort of like the same as the old guys from Jamaica who played ska and rocksteady who are still alive, or lived to see some of the new ska bands, including the two-tone bands. They’re watching them going, ‘Hmm, that’s neat. They’re on the radio, making videos and everything else.’ We’re just watching it happen, not necessarily watching people go by us but watching the whole thing unfold, fold back up, get thrown in the waste can and start back up again.”

Hepcat Skank to Long Beach: The event takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 at Alex’s Bar.

LA Weekly