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Brick Bar and the Disappearing Ska Nights

As long as we can remember, Brick Bar on Khaosan Road has always been known as “The Ska Bar” in Bangkok.

Lace up your black-and-white checkered Chuck Taylors and bust out your early 90s Operation Ivy ripped tee, its time to get skank’in!  Conditionally (read on).

Brick Bar gained notoriety with its ska and pseudo-punk line-ups along with being a venue to avoid farangs despite being in the jugular of Khaosan Road. And while Brick Bar still doesn’t attract many farang, the amount of ska nights they have has significantly decreased.

But why?

There are a lot of theories. A Brick Bar drink-pourer employee (posing to be a manager) pointed to the fact that their most popular house band, Teddy Ska Band, is too popular for Brick Bar and is now frequently on tour, leaving a gap in the line-up. Other theories suggest that its cheaper to pad the nightly line-up with more of the same Thai cover bands that you hear at every club in Bangkok. Whatever the reason, we’re sad to see the changes.

And apparently, so is Bangkok.

We’ve noticed a direct correlation between the diminishing ska lineups and crowd size. People seem to have moved on and considering the club/bar loyalty in Bangkok is as fickle as a Thai business contract, this is bad news for Brick Bar.

Nonetheless, if you can confirm a ska band is on stage for the night, its worth a trip if you’ve never been.

To cover the basics, Brick Bar is partially made from  bricks (get out!), is really dark, and has seating on two levels around a large stage for a band. It’s in the shopping complex that has the McDonald’s near Tanao Road, and a bottle of Red Label is 1,100 and Jack Daniels 1,700. Its website mentions the bar features both ska and reggae, but if you’ve spent any time in Thailand, you know that Thai promoters love to throw the word reggae around without really knowing what it constitutes. Dreadlocks = Reggae.

Brick Bar, if you’re reading this…please employ more ska bands. We promise we will come back and tell our friends in order to make it the raucous joint it deserves to be. Deal?

Brick Bar
Location: 265 Khaosan Road, near the end that has the Burger King, not the one with Gulliver’s. In a shopping complex that includes the Buddy Hotel.
Mass transit: Khlong taxi to Ratchadamnoen Klang
Hours: 7 pm-1:30 am daily
Phone: 02-629-4477
Website: www.brickbarkhaosan.com

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