The Suppressors bring back ska fever to Fresno

The Fresno BeeJuly 3, 2013 

Ska band The Suppressors is back on the scene, after several years of hiatus. The band plays Saturday night at Frank's place.


The Suppressors were once Fresno's favorite band — at least by popular vote on the website Fresno Famous. The seven-piece ska band had a large following of fans and played some high-profile shows. They were one of the few local bands to play at the ill-fated Cabo Wabo nightclub before it closed.

After a three-year hiatus, the band is back on the Fresno music scene with a slightly different take on success.

"We probably won't be hitting shows as often as before, and we aren't seeking out larger contemporary audiences," says Manu Janssens, who plays saxophone and is a founding member. "I'd rather play to 100 people who know and enjoy the music than play to 1,000 people scratching their heads thinking, 'What the hell is this?' "

The band plays 9 p.m. Saturday at Frank's Place, 1432 Fulton St., Fresno, with Bakersfield ska band The Easy In.

This is not a reunion show.

The band has a mostly new lineup. And though it will play some songs from its 2010 album "Small Time Hustler" and a few 2-Tone covers (for the hard-core ska fans), there will be some new material.

The band is working on a new album and has written four or five songs, Janssens says.

The return comes at a good time. Though ska doesn't have the reach it did in its heyday during the 1990s, Janssens sees a number of young ska bands taking up the reigns. That means a new generation of kids are getting interested in the music. Not that Janssens has quite figured out how to connect with that younger scene, yet.

"Driving around high schools trying to entice youngsters with Suppressors stuff out of the back of my van can probably lead to a misunderstanding."

Spirit homes

8 p.m. Friday, July 5 / Hide & Seek Gallery, 2120 Mono St. Fresno / $5 /

Local psych-rock band Light Thieves continues to keep up a busy pace, with a string of local and out-of-town shows, including a spot on this year's Catacomb Party, July 20.

Before that, it hosts a release show for "Spirit Homes," its long-awaited debut album. The show is a collaboration with Hide and Seek Gallery, and will feature artwork specially created for the release by Robert Amador. Local bands Werebear and Fatty Cakes open the show.

Great White night

7 p.m. Saturday, July 6 / Tower Theatre, 815 E. Olive Ave., Fresno / $27.50-$37.50 / (559) 485-9050,

Great White came to fame in the 1980s, one of several Los Angeles hair-metal bands that benefited from heavy rotation on MTV. The single "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" earned a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance and sent the album to double platinum status.

Great White featuring Jack Russell will be in town Saturday at the Tower Theatre. This is one of two incarnations of the band touring. Russell is the band's original vocalist. Gutterfish, Fear No Evil, Tangent and Stagefrite open the show.

Gypsy jazz

8 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 / The Painted Table at the Tower Theatre, Fresno / $30 / (559) 485-9050,

Argentine guitarist/composer Gonzalo Bergara plays a modern version of Django Reinhardt's 1930s gypsy jazz, mixing the sounds of France with that of his homeland. His acoustic quartet — which features Jeffrey Radaich on rhythm guitar, Leah Zeger on violin and Brian Netzley on upright bass — is on the West Coast swing of a U.S. tour and plays 8 p.m. Wednesday at The Painted Table.SHOW INFO

The Suppressors, 9 p.m. Saturday at Frank's Place, 1432 Fulton St., Fresno. With opening act The Easy In.


The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6479, or @JoshuaTehee on Twitter. Read his blog at

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