There is a huge buzz around Skinny Lister at present and those who know about these things are tipping them for great things. Several of my festival buddies have seen them recently but until Bearded Theory last week I hadn’t had the pleasure. The buzz has been overwhelmingly positive so I was determined not to miss them.
It is no easy task to describe a Skinny Lister gig because a Skinny Lister performance is a performance like no other. A Skinny Lister gig is a kind of rum-fuelled, high energy riot of punk edged folk rock that really does defy accurate description. The London based six-piece band create a riot of noise that sweeps the audience away in a maelstrom of energy.
The madness is lead by vocalist Lorna Thomas who is aided and abetted by double bassist Michael Camino. Lorna is a pint sized rum swigging bundle of energy who bounces around the stage, in a blaze of flying skirts and bright red lipstick. If you want to see a crowd surfing double bass player then a Skinny Lister gig is the place to come.
Skinny Lister are a real treat live so unsurprisingly I was keen to see if their live sound translated well into their recorded output. Skinny Lister recently signed with Xtra Mile recordings, a label I am very fond of. They have a very strong stable of artists including the likes of Frank Turner, Beans On Toast and Catfish and The Bottlemen so I think Skinny Lister will do well on the label.
Down On Deptford Broadway is a strong album with some great tracks. It feels a lot like a mix between “Rum Sodomy and The Lash” era Pogues mixed with Mumford and Sons. I hope that they remain on the Pogues side of that line. Trouble on Oxford Street with its hard hitting vocals is where the similarity shines through most strongly. The switch in vocals between Dan and Lorna is refreshing and the mix of styles from celtic folk to folk rock to folky ballads means that you are kept on your toes and are never likely to get bored.
Cathy is a great track, a real tub-thumping, roof-raising anthem about a scarlet woman and brings to mind bands like Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys.
Overall this is an extremely enjoyable album, it is fresh and interesting and a lot of fun. It is also a big step forward for Skinny Lister. Sadly I can’t say that the album captures their live performances, it is probably impossible to capture that energy and dynamism in the studio but it is still worth adding to your collection.
Here are a few of my photographs from last weeks set at Bearded Theory festival, enjoy.