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ARIA Award winning Melbourne Ska Orchestra to visit Canberra

By Erin Cross

Melbourne Ska Orchestra is a spectacle. The Melbourne band will bring their unique sound and high energy to shows around Australia with their 2020 tour, dancing their way to the bush capital in March.

Celebrating the release of their funky original single Good Days, Bad Days, a high energy track lifted from their ARIA award winning album, One Year of Ska, the national tour will show-case their vibin’ songs and amazing talent that has to be seen to be believed.

The 25-piece band will dominate the stage, performing shows that are full of energy, just like the old-school Jamican music they play.

Band leader Nicky Bomba describes the experience as “25 people on a ramshackle train full of joy that looks like it’ll fall off the track but never does.”

“It’s high energy and it’s about connection between the band and the audience. I’ve never played in a band like it,” he says.

Canberra will be treated to a show for the first time at the UC Refectory on the 15th of March. Bomba revealed that the Melbourne Ska Orchestra plans to give locals a show that they won’t forget.

“It’s our first-time playing Canberra so we’re pulling out all the stops with the show,” says Bomba.

“You’ll get taken on a musical journey with the show and it’s a spectacle that you don’t see from other orchestras.”

According to Bomba, Canberrans should expect a show that marches to the beat of its own drum.

“It’s Ska music, so it’s high energy,” he says.

“There’s always lots of dancing and we always giveaway a CD to the best dancer!”

Bomba believes it’s the international mix of ska, blues and jazz in their music is what makes Melbourne Ska Orchestra unique. According to the band leader it’s one of the reasons why they won an ARIA award in 2019. However, it’s how the band and audience connect that makes the experience thrilling, according to Bomba.

“I always love a new audience,” he says. “It’s fresh, like going to a new country.”

“We might explore Canberra and go to Parliament House and busk outside to get some film for the documentary we’re shooting,”

The tour will include songs from the album One Year of Ska, winner of the 2019 ARIA’S Best World Album.

The single Good Days, Bad Days is just one of the 52 songs released in 2019, a task the band began to connect back to the old Jamaican practice of releasing songs on a weekly basis. Good Days, Bad Days was written on the spot and touches on a universal topic, that good days and bad days are all a part of life.

“It can apply to so many things like sports and mental health issues. I think that’s a connection people can relate too. Ultimately, it’s about understanding that life balances out,” says Bomba.

Discussing the tour and the celebrations of One Year of Ska that will ensue, Bomba says fans can expect some new songs and stage antics for the show.

“We’re working on 4 or 5 new songs for the show,” says Bomba.

“It’s great to keep things fresh and with this band nothing is ever the same.”

Canberra better get ready to join the joy train.

Melbourne Ska Orchestra will play the UC Refectory Sunday the 15th of March 2020. Tickets at


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