Southend Who presents: Cisco In The Aquarium + Friends, a celebration of the old school Southend Ska Punk Scene!


On Friday January 5th 2018, Southend Who is proudly presenting an evening of Southend ska-punk to celebrate an era that was positively thriving in the early noughties!

Ska punk shows were a regular occurrence at Chinnerys back in 2000-2003, so we decided to get 3 of the best ska-punk legends back together as well as an appearance from one of the biggest characters from the scene for one night only at Chinnerys on Friday 5th January 2018. Here’s why we’re so excited!

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The ska pop princes back in the day, Cisco In The Aquarium were famous for their raucous live shows. Their loyal following were left heartbroken when they disbanded in 2005 when frontman James Kelleway moved to America. After a one off reunion show back in 2010, they’ve decided to have one last party at Chinnerys!
They were just kids when their legendary songs like ‘Tiffy Got A Texty‘ and ‘Flamin’ Nutcase‘ captured the hearts of the Southend music scene. Now they’re all grown up with a mission statement to get Southend skanking one last time!


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Innocence? Please. Suspects will chew you up, spit you out and leave you a glorious mess.

“If you haven’t already heard Suspects, then you sir are a liar. They are the loudest band in Essex, so you must be genuinely deaf  if you haven’t.

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Thomas Prescott and James ‘Jaff’ May are on a roll at the moment. Last week their latest release ‘Innocence’ was premiered on the Kerrang! website. The loudest magazine featuring the loudest band in Southend? Completely fitting.

‘Innocence’ is a visceral assault on your senses. Think White Stripes times a billion. Not since Winnebago Deal has a duo turned up with punk and grunge ambitions this big. It’s no surprise that Cool Thing Records have picked up on these guys. They play Village Green Festival next month, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the event. Here’s hoping they don’t blow the PA system.”

By Mikey Glenister
Photos: Kana Waiwaiku

Engerica (2000-2006): Remembering When Jesus Wept and Gave us a Hard On

By Robert Glenister

Back in the early noughties, there was a healthy appetite for melodic UK rock and hardcore. It was an exciting time, with bands like Hundred Reasons earning a million pound record deal with Columbia Records, Hell Is For Heroes securing a number 1 album in the UK charts, and Muse beginning their assault on arenas everywhere.
Leading the charge in Southend were our big 3: Resin, Smother and today’s subjects Engerica.

When I first saw them, I was blown away. They were the complete package. Their riffs were heavy, dramatic and engaging. They were snarling brats that mocked and sometimes spat at their crowds. The more outlandish they were, the more we lapped it up.

Their lyrics were ridiculous. With such gems like “Jesus wept, and gave me a hard on“, and “My dad says ‘Don’t take chances, don’t do drugs and don’t trust fat kids“, frontman Dave Gardner certainly had an immediate and sardonic way with words (“I’ve got this face you see, God made a fool of me, I took my pills in 1 2 3s and now the world is done with me“).


But above all, the tunes were absolutely on point, delivered with ferocious and care-free abandon. This was three men giving it everything and the results were glorious.

Their big career highlights included signing with Sanctuary Records, a Download Festival appearance in 2006 and support slots with Sum 41, but their holy grail was the release of their long awaited debut album “There Are No Happy Endings”.

This would be their only album, but happily this is now available for streaming on Spotify; perhaps there are some happy endings after all!