Review and pictures by James Warman Photography
Rhoda Dakar - Albert’s Shed 25 March 2022
Last Friday Albert’s Shed in Shrewsbury played host to 2-Tone Ska legend Rhoda Dakar.
Rhoda first shot to fame in 1980 when as lead singer with the all female Ska revival band The Bodysnatchers they reached no. 22 in the UK charts with Let’s Do Rock Steady.
My Shrewsbury’s photographer James Warman was at Albert’s Shed to capture the event and share his experience.
You know you’re in for a good night at Albert’s Shed when the audience are up and dancing to the background music playing before the main act is even on stage. That was exactly the case on Friday just before Rhoda Dakar appeared.
Not only was Rhoda lead singer with The Bodysnatchers but she also worked with The Specials, The Specials AKA, and Madness. So it’s little wonder, with a pedigree like that, the crowd were hyped.
And we weren’t disappointed. From the opening bars of the first song, through to the final beat of the encore, we were fed a diet of up-tempo authentic Ska that had the audience singing and dancing pretty much non-stop. And when I say authentic I mean authentic. This wasn’t some tribute act, this was the real thing. Rhoda’s vocals and on-stage presence shone, supported by a tight 5-piece band you knew you were experiencing the real deal.
But this led to a problem which potentially could have ruined my photos… I couldn’t stop dancing! The music was so infectious! And it wasn’t just the music, Rhoda’s banter with the audience was sublime. Albert’s Shed is an intimate venue with the crowd up close and personal to stage. Between songs, Rhoda chatted and joked effortlessly with the crowd, making fun of how easily we could be wound up over the pronunciation of “Shrewsbury”. At one point, the whole conversation took on a pantomime twist with shouts of “Oh no it isn’t”. It’s moments like that, that you realise you are in the presence of a true entertainer, not just a singer of songs.
And talking of songs, her set-list was a combination of original numbers (my favourites being Let’s Do Rock Steady and Welcome to My Theme Park) as well as a number of cover versions. She even managed to put a Ska twist to the Morrissey song Every Day is Like Sunday. Morrissey and Ska! Who knew that combination would work? But it did!
She ended the night with her hit Let’s Do Rock Steady, which everyone went crazy for. It was a truly great evening of fun, laughter and music and if you do get a chance to see Rhoda in concert I urge you to see her, you won’t be disappointed.
Albert’s Shed in Baker Street, Albert & Co in Frankwell, and Albert’s Shed Soutwater in Telford have a full and varied lineup throughout the year. Check out their website for more details: