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Skapa flyer 1990
Background information
Genres Ska
Years active 1988 - 1996 ?
Labels Jayrem Records, Moonhop Music
Associated acts Ambitious Vegetables,
Website Skapa]
Members Hugh Costello (keyboards/ vox), Matthew Beauchamp (bass/ vox) , Craig Chisholm (vox), Chas Mannell (drums)
Past members Mike Polkinghorne (sax), James Heffernan (sax), Steve Hinderwell (guitar), Don Holborow (trumpet), Rachel McLaren (sax), Manu Manu (guitar), Kevin Ubana Jones (guitar), Kim Namby-Pamby (guitar), James "Seventh" Hollings (trumpet), The Brassholes (trumpet/ sax), Mike DeJong (guitar), Julian Treadwell (sax), Andrew Hulk Lee (trombone), Mike Gibson (guitar), Trudi Ashford (BVs), Matt Newdick (bass), Damian Forlong (trombone), Ron Douglas (sax)


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Skapa emerged in 1988 amongst a second generation of New Zealand ska bands. The four core members of Chas, Hugh Costello, Mathew Beauchamp and Craig Chisholm, had all gone through Rongotai college in the late 70s with drummer Chas Mannell playing in college punk band The Ambitious Vegetables and later on in new wave band The Mockers. As with all good ska bands worth their salt Skapa features revolving door lineup in the horn section and numerous other cameos from anyone who could stand up long enough to last a set.

Playing their debut gig in February 1989 at Victoria University’s Orientation week as support for the 1988 chart topping Holidaymakers. “The Wellington Orientation was only notorious because The Holidaymakers were a chart band, they’d just been to number one and it was Skapa’s first gig. Most people were leaping about to Skapa but left within two songs of The Holidaymakers. I think word got round our mates who paid to see us, but thought the other band was a bit wimpy” recalls Chas Mannell.

Skapa had a loyal following from the start within Wellington’s skinhead scene but were quick to point out that the band were vehemently anti-racist (they feature on a 1995 S.H.A.R.P compilation) and that the music of ska promotes racial unity far removed from the popular representation of short haired boneheads. “Admittedly some of the Skins, have in the past had dodgy attitudes.... but the mere fact that they enjoy ska music [it] has dawned on them that racism is being hypocritical.”

Skapa released their first tracks in 1990 on a 4 track cassingle titled “Skaparty”. This was followed in 1992 by the album “Easy Street” in 1992 and feature tracks in a number of local and international compilations.


1. Jane Bondage, 2.Ska Jig, 3.It's Your Round


  • Ska-Otea-Roa, 1995, Moonhop Music, compilation CD, tracks: Jane Bondage, It's Your Round
  • Stay SHARP, volume 2, 1995, compilation CD, track: You Know
  • Easy Street, 1992, Jayrem, cassette, Not So Live Side: Easy Street, Suzanne Beware of the Devil, Ska Jig, It's Your Round, Times Are Hard, Step Lightly, Mr. Ed, Ska Polka. Live Side: Jamaica Ska, Tear It Up, These Boots, Special Brew, Rudy Got Married, Shame and Scandal, Nite Klub
  • Skankin' Round The World Volume Five, 1990, compilation LP, track: Ska Polka
  • Skaparty, 1990, Jayrem, cassingle, tracks: Easy Street, It's Your Round, Ska Polka, Easy Street (extended version)



Skapa playing at the Clarendon, Wellington, 1989
Skapa live at the Gluepot, Auckland, 1989
Skapa: Easy Street, 1990