Melbourne Ska Orchestra Sierra Kilo Alpha Album Out Now!

It’s been 3 years since Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s critically acclaimed self-titled debut launched, and today, April 22 sees their sophomore album Sierra-Kilo-Alpha touch down in stores.

“I’m pretty proud of where we are with this album,” enthuses Nicky Bomba. “There’s a presence and punchiness to it that makes us smile. To me, it’s mature songwriting, yet still having that element of sounding fresh, and that’s always a hard thing to do – I think we accepted the mission and delivered.”

The early word from reviewers is in – The Music declaring it their Album Of The Week (April 20, 2016) with Liz Giuffre describing the album as “Sonic escapism at its best.”

While Blank Gold Coast & Tom Magazine’s Trevor Jackson called it – stating “It’s playful and catchy as hell, as good ska should be, but the MSO is more than just a big wall of sound paying homage to a genre. From the outset the band wanted to incorporate many other musical elements into their sound – jazz, funk and African rhythms amongst them. … Throughout Sierra Kilo Alpha the MSO is clearly honouring the genre’s legacy, yet they never lose their sense of fun in delivering the outcome.”

John Hardaker from The Orange Press declared “The snaky, swirling melody of opener ‘Escher’ sets the mission statement – heavy on the horns, beefy on the funk, yet with enough of the dancing lightness of snap-brim ska to get your ass on the floor. Pat Powell‘s knowing vocal – as all across Sierra-Kilo-Alpha – comes across with a grin and a worldly wink. 

Leading single ‘Funkchuck’ is chunky, funky and motors along on a rocksteady groove to where it’s going. ‘Bombay Detective’ opens with sitar-exotica – like so many arrangements here, it suggest a movie-for-your-mind: a thrill-ride thriller, moody, racy, noir. 

‘Nothing in The Way’ has a circular, snaking riff, like the opener, ‘Escher’ which shows the quiet genius in Bomba’s horn and rhythm arrangements – nothing gets in the way of the groove, yet there is always so much to listen to on the way. 

Afro-Cuban flavours sepia ‘Solitary Island Sway’ and ‘Special Thing’ while the largely instrumental ‘Vespa Ska’ has tremolo spaghetti-Western guitar setting the showdown scene. ‘Sly Boots’ (my gold star for next single) is Nutty Boy ska with a gold-plated hook.”

Hitting the top of the AMRAP regional charts with the album’s second single Funkchunk, the song was also promptly added to Double J and has enjoyed strong support from Triple J’s Roots N All & ABC local radio stations Australia-wide.  Alongside all the great community radio airplay right around the country it seems Australian audiences have fully embraced the return of Melbourne Ska Orchestra to their airwaves.

Audiences can embrace Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s renowned live shows when they hit the road tonight. Starting in Queensland, before heading to Sydney, Jenolan Caves/Blue Mountains, Adelaide, hometown Melbourne, Coffs Harbour and Mullumbimby.  The tour will stretch from April 22 to June 25 – full tour details available at  – all before playing the main stage at Splendour In the Grass 2016.

Following on from the Australian release and tour, Melbourne Ska Orchestra will be heading off to the UK in August to promote Sierra-Kilo-Alpha there, with appearances at The Garage London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Boomtown Fair and Kaya World Music Festivals.

There is a feeling of excitement building for this release and you can be assured Melbourne Ska Orchestra will follow through with an unforgettable stage performance!

In the words of John Hardaker  – “The sound is huge and the band is tight; the MSO will be touring with up to 30 players, taking Sierra-Kilo-Alpha across Australia…And as throbbingly vital as this album is, you know their live shows will be through the big-top roof. Don’t miss them.”






Only three years from Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s debut album –sees the release of their second album, Sierra-Kilo-Alpha, April 22, 2016 – picking up where they left off, taking the age old style of Ska and adding to it with aplomb. The band’s debut resulted in sell-out shows both in Australia and abroad, many high profile festival appearances internationally, a slew of award nominations and some wins both here and in the UK.

Sierra-Kilo-Alpha is the Melbourne Ska Orchestra’s own history – a nod to the past with an eye firmly on the future, dangerous and free. Recorded at the ABC and Freeburgh studios in Melbourne, in the winter of 2015. Sierra-Kilo-Alpha throbs with hope, excitement and freshness. The band has recently signed record deals in both the US and the UK, after two years of very successful touring to the regions. So 2016 will see the new record released across the globe, with touring to follow.

MSO’s live performance is nothing short of spectacular, sometimes tipping the 30 player mark. The National album launch tour kicks off at The Night Quarter on the Gold Coast, April 22. Touring with between 20 and 30 band members at all times MSO will play both capital city and regional dates, spanning from April to June. Showcasing new songs from Sierra-Kilo-Alpha, fans are in for a treat; it will be an unstoppable dance floor across the nation!

All of this before the band head over to the UK in August, to play at The Garage in London, Kaya World Music Festival and Boomtown. 2016 sees Melbourne Ska Orchestra off and running, at break neck speed…

Get your tickets to one of the album launch shows now before you miss out!


Fri 22nd April
THE NIGHT QUARTER, Gold Coast QLD / 1 Town Centre Dr, Helensvale
Tickets $35 + bf from
Doors 6pm

Sat 23rd April
w/ Special Guests CHEAP FAKES / 9 Stratton St, Newstead
Tickets $35 + bf from
Doors open 8pm

Sun 24th April
SOL BAR, Sunshine Coast QLD / Ocean St, Maroochydore
Tickets $35 +bf from venue &
Doors open 8pm

Fri 13th May
w/ Special Guests Hot Tomato Band / Manning Rd, Camperdown
Tickets $35 + bf from
Doors open 8pm

Sat 14th May
THE GRAND ARCH, Jenolan Caves Blue Mountains NSW
A Special Night, with guests THE RHYTHM HUNTERS
Jenolan Caves Rd, Jenolan Caves NSW
Early bird tickets $50 + bf for limited time, $60 + bf GA from
Doors open 6pm

Fri 20th May
THE GOV, Adelaide SA
w/ Special Guests GORILLA JONES / 59 Port Rd, Hindmarsh ADELAIDE
Tickets $35 + bf from
Doors 8pm

Sat 28th May
MAX WATT’S, Melbourne VIC
w/ Special Guests KOOYEH / 125 Swanston St, MELBOURNE
Tickets $35 +bf from
Doors open 8pm

Fri 24th June
SAWTELL RSL, Coffs Harbour NSW / First Avenue, Sawtell NSW
Tickets $30 +bf from
Doors 7.30pm

Sat 25th June
55 Dalley St, Mullumbimby NSW
Tickets A$32.00 +BF &cc / Y$26.00+BF&cc / C$20.00+BF&cc / under 5yrs free – from
Doors 7.00pm

FUNKCHUNK single is available now

New Album SIERRA-KILO-ALPHA, out April 22

In the studio with Melbourne Ska Orchestra for album #2!

It is a real treat being in the studio with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra – A fantastic mix of chaos and creativity at the same time, all whilst maintaining a huge sense of humour and good times.

The guys are currently recording their second album at the ABC studios, Melbourne.

Check out some working shots here. Photo credit – Glen Thompson.





















Melbourne Ska Orchestra – ‘Third Time Lucky’ Video

Melbourne Ska Orchestra, the largest aggregation of its kind ever gathered on one stage anywhere in the world, have unveiled their globe-trotting video for Third Time Lucky, the latest cut to be taken from their 2013 self-titled debut album.

As readers can see below, it’s been a busy year for the fun-loving, always-skanking, 30+ piece group, comprised of some of Melbourne’s most beloved musicians, including members of John Butler Trio a la the collective’s charismatic leader, Nicky Bomba.

All the footage featured in the clip is taken from the Orchestra’s June-July trip throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The trek included several appearances at world-renowned festivals, such as the UK’s beloved Glastonbury Festival, Northern Lights Festival Boreal in Canada, and the Montreal Jazz Festival.

The band are now gearing up to close out this year’s Australasian Worldwide Music Expo in Melbourne this November. The event’s incredible finale will feature a massive party made up of all the bands whose members belong to the Melbourne Ska Orchestra – something no true ska fan will want to miss.

The AWME closing party will also be the backdrop for Nicky Bomba’s relaunch of his and Joe Camilleri’s Transmitter Records label. The outlet was forged to provide a home for reggae, ska, calypso, and world music in Australia and to provide an avenue of release for Nicky and Joe’s own compositions.

“The last couple of years has seen a great enthusiasm for our style of music and it seemed like a natural progression to step everything up,” said Nicky in a statement. Transmitter Records’ re-launch will see the label moving into a brand-new era, with an ever-expanding family of like-minded musicians.

To celebrate, Transmitter will be re-releasing gems from the label’s back catalogue, including a Bomba box set and releases by Limestone, Banana Oil, and Drums & Lions. Meanwhile, the AWME closing party will provide a showcase for new releases by Bustamento, Ska Vendors, and Mighty Duke and the Lords.

Melbourne Ska Orchestra National Tour Dates

w/Bustamento, The Ska Vendors, Mighty Duke & The Lords

Sunday, 16th November 2014
AWME Closing Party, The Hi-Fi, Melbourne
Tickets: The Hi-Fi