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(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2792: Skinny Lister

 
By on Tuesday, 20th February 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

London folk-punk rockers Skinny Lister are about to embark on a wide-ranging American tour, including a stop in Austin, Texas next month for SXSW 2018. To get their party started with a characteristic burst of energy, the band have just unveiled a subversively political new promo video for their latest single ‘Thing Like That’.

The ‘Thing Like That’ video features co-frontman Dan Heptinstall in a rare solo appearance. Here, Heptinstall rebelliously flaunts a one-piece zippered Union Jack suit as he traverses the streets of London, provoking a subtle but noticeably varied array of responses from the people around him. ‘Thing Like That’ appears as a bonus track on the deluxe version of Skinny Lister’s late 2016 album ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’. The album is available now via Xtra Mile Recordings.

A full listing of Skinny Lister’s upcoming tour dates in America, where they will be supported by Xtra Mile labelmate Will Varley, can be found on their official Facebook. TGTF’s previous coverage of Skinny Lister can be found back through here.

 

Album Review: Skinny Lister – The Devil, the Heart & the Fight

 
By on Friday, 18th November 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Skinny Lister album coverGenre-bending, folk-punk sextet Skinny Lister released their new LP ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’ back in September, but their current American tour in support of the album gives us occasion to circle back and give the record its due. Skinny Lister recently sold out an October UK tour on the heels of the album release, which is both a signal of their growing success and a measure of the LP’s singular merit.

Skinny Lister made a lasting impression with their saucy second album, ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’, which they previewed at SXSW 2015 ahead of its release in April of that year. They spent the remainder of 2015 on the road, opening for their labelmate Frank Turner and bringing their incorrigible, rabble-rousing spirit to new audiences both at home and abroad.

Wasting no time, the band dropped a preliminary announcement for album number three in April of this year, hit the studio in Newcastle with producer Tristan Ivemy in May, and released the new album’s first official single in July. That July single, ‘Wanted’, is also the opening track on ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’. Its cocky verses and lusty chorus immediately seem familiar, but the springy guitar riff adds an unexpected flavour, suggesting straightaway that Skinny Lister have expanded upon their usual formula.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ItxRa3C-lwE[/youtube]

The bright and buoyant ‘Geordie Lad’ is one of the album’s more introspective moments, despite its warm folk rock arrangement. ‘Tragedy in A Minor’ takes a darker and more ironic turn, even as singer Daniel Heptinstall makes light of a jilted romance: “well ,who to invite, it was doin’ my head in / it’s kind of a blessing she cancelled the wedding / some day I will laugh at this, I do not doubt it / I might even write me a song all about it.” Co-frontwoman Lorna Thomas takes center stage in the trippy and decidedly pop-tinged ‘Devil in Me’.  Her normally brassy voice takes on a deceptively sweet, Taylor Swift-like edge in its chorus lines, “the devil in me will come for you and you’ll pay the price for not being very nice / the devil in me will come for you and you’ll realise that to cross me wasn’t wise.”

Many of the songs on ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’ retain the signature Skinny Lister combination of pub singalong and sea shanty, generated by the band’s unique instrumentation and folk dance influence. ‘Beat it From the Chest’ sings, at first, like any of the swaggering, foot-stomping tunes from ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’, but the electric guitar arrangement takes the place of the accordion, giving the song a more anthemic rock tone. The accordion’s folk flavour is more prominently featured in ‘Hamburg Drunk’, an unapologetic drinking song that abruptly switches tempo between a fast stomp and a lurching sway.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/e-DSiAgoUZM[/youtube]

Following the country rock ballad ‘Grace’, Skinny Lister get back to their roots with the punk-leaning ‘Charlie’ and penultimate track ‘Fair Winds & Following Seas’. Album closer ‘Carry’ is simple and heartfelt as it gradually swells from a delicate love ballad to an uplifting and fully-realised singalong anthem.

‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’ is a surprisingly concise record, given the multitude of its musical influences. The album’s 12 songs span only 36 minutes in total length, and its production is somewhat restrained in comparison to Skinny Lister’s typical boisterous roar. This slightly scaled-back dynamic reveals the band’s thoughtful and subtle musical experimentation, highlighting the truly multi-faceted and genre-defying nature of their folk-punk-pop-rock style. Though Skinny Lister’s rough-and-tumble personality is a bit subdued in this studio recording, I have a strong suspicion, based on previous experience, that these songs will only gain energy and vitality in live performance.

8/10

Skinny Lister’s third album ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’ is out now on Xtra Mile Recordings. The band’s current American tour extends through November and into the first part of December; you can find all the dates on their official Facebook. They have also announced a list of Spring 2017 headline dates in the UK, which we’ve listed back here. TGTF’s full previous coverage of Skinny Lister is collected here.

 

Skinny Lister / April and May 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 17th November 2016 at 9:00 am
 

London folk rockers Skinny Lister are bringing their new album ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’ back to the UK for a second round of headline dates next spring, following their sold out October headline tour and their current run of American live dates. ‘The Devil, the Heart & the Fight’ was released at the end of September on Xtra Mile Recordings. You can watch the promo video for the album’s latest single ‘Devil in Me’ at the bottom of this page.

Skinny Lister will play a slate of shows in continental Europe ahead of the UK tour; a complete listing of their upcoming dates can be found on their official Facebook. Tickets for the following shows are available now. TGTF’s past coverage of Skinny Lister is collected back here.

Thursday 27th April 2017 – Sheffield Leadmill
Friday 28th April 2017 – Manchester Gorilla
Saturday 29th April 2017 – Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms
Wednesday 3rd May 2017 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 4th May 2017 – Cambridge Junction 2
Friday 5th May 2017 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Saturday 6th May 2017 – Bristol Fleece
Tuesday 9th May 2017 – Southampton Talking Heads
Wednesday 10th May 2017 – Brighton Haunt
Thursday 11th May 2017 – London Scala

[youtube]https://youtu.be/XNXnrpZIKa0[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2171: Skinny Lister

 
By on Monday, 29th August 2016 at 10:00 am
 

Folk-punk collective Skinny Lister are striking while the iron is hot, building on the success they achieved in 2015 with their sophomore LP ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’. The band spent much of last year on tour, including an appearance at SXSW 2015 in March and a long list of support dates with fellow folk-punk troubadour Frank Turner, which drew attention from new fans and reignited excitement for those already in the know. Back in July, they announced a new third album, titled ‘The Devil, The Heart & The Fight’, with the promo video for lead single ‘Wanted’.

Now, in an attempt to further whet our already expectant appetites, Skinny Lister have unveiled the joyful new video for album track ‘Geordie Lad’. The song itself is light and buoyant despite its wistful lyrics about remembering a former friend, and the accompanying video finds the band members frolicking in fields flushed by warm, late summer sunshine. The simple visual interpretation, directed by The Film Smith, prominently features a paraphrase of the new album title, which you’ll also see on Skinny Lister’s social media as #devilheartfight.

‘The Devil, The Heart, & The Fight’ is due for release on the 30th of September via Xtra Mile Recordings. Skinny Lister will immediately follow the release with a list of October live dates in the UK and a headline tour of North America in November. TGTF’s previous coverage of Skinny Lister is collected right back here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/B6FDmLyQoUQ[/youtube]

 

Skinny Lister / October 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 26th April 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Folk punk collective Skinny Lister have just announced an October tour of the UK to go along with their surprise new album release, which is also scheduled for October. The as-yet untitled new album will follow up the group’s 2015 LP ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’ and may feature some of the new tracks they previewed in their live appearance at the Press Room in Phoenix last autumn.

Tickets for the following shows are available now. TGTF’s previous coverage of Skinny Lister, including our chat with the band at SXSW 2015, is right back this way.

Tuesday 4th October 2016 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Thursday 6th October 2016 – Newcastle Cluny
Friday 7th October 2016 – Glasgow Nice ‘n’ Sleazy
Thursday 13th October 2016 – Norwich Waterfront Studio
Friday 14th October 2016 – Nottingham Bodega
Saturday 15th October 2016 – Leicester Academy 2
Tuesday 18th October 2016 – Bristol Exchange
Wednesday 19th October 2016 – Southampton Joiners
Thursday 20th October 2016 – London Garage

 

Live Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls with Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister at the Press Room, Phoenix, AZ – 25th October 2015

 
By on Tuesday, 3rd November 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

Hard-working troubadour Frank Turner and his dedicated band the Sleeping Souls have just wrapped up a full American tour, following the summer release of Turner’s new album ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’. The American tour ended on a bit of an anticlimactic note in New Orleans last week as Turner and two of his bandmates suffered food poisoning and were forced to cancel their final show, but their gig in Phoenix on the previous Sunday night was more successful, with a lively and receptive crowd turning up early at downtown venue the Press Room to catch support acts Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister ahead of Turner’s headline set.

Beans 1

Essex singer/songwriter Beans on Toast (known offstage as Jay McAllister) came on stage without delay and warmed up the still-arriving crowd with an engaging acoustic set of narrative tunes that were by turns personal and political, comical and caustic. From his vantage point at the front of the stage, McAllister drew in the eager audience with a brief commentary on American culture in the form of a song called ‘The Great American Novel’, from his upcoming new album ‘Rolling Up the Hill’. A handful of older Beans on Toast songs were also well-received, particularly the interactive sing along ‘Fuck You Nashville’; though only a few hardy Frank Turner fans were familiar with the tune from previous shows, the rest of us learned the critical chorus line quickly enough to join in.

SL 1

After a brief lull in the action, folk-punk collective Skinny Lister enthusiastically took the stage, bringing their customary whisky jug along to share with the “21 and over” portion of the audience. Opening with songs from their recent album ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’, Skinny Lister quite frankly stole the show, their high energy exceeding what was to come later from Turner and the Souls.

Beginning with ‘Raise a Wreck’ and the incorrigible ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’ before breaking into ‘George’s Glass’ and ‘Cathy’, the band interspersed their established crowd-pleasers with a couple of yet-to-be recorded songs, including an especially charming one called ‘Colours’. Lest the presence of an accordion trick anyone into thinking that these were a sedate group of folk musicians, Skinny Lister ultimately proved their rock-‘n’ roll prowess with a rousing performance of ‘This Is War’, ending their set with frontwoman Lorna Thomas triumphantly climbing atop Michael Camino’s personalised double bass. In red heels.

Turner and the Sleeping Souls were able to capitalize on Skinny Lister’s unbounded enthusiasm in the opening section of their three-part set, bursting onto the stage with uptempo belters ‘Get Better’ and ‘The Next Storm’. Promising a mix of songs from throughout his career, Turner plowed through ‘Losing Days’ and ‘Josephine’ before the Souls left him alone onstage for the second, solo section of the show.

FT 1

This middle section is where the true, diehard Frank Turner fans no doubt found their greatest joy, as Turner plucked his way through a few forgotten gems. ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’ was warmly received, as was newer favourite ‘The Way I Tend To Be’, but for my money, this section was a bit overly drawn out, and I was surprised by the rather flat solo version of ‘Glorious You’, which was gloriously anthemic in its recording on ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’.

The Sleeping Souls rejoined Turner for the final section of the show, which rallied the punters’ energy with hit tunes ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘Recovery’ and ‘I Still Believe’, but never quite regained the momentum lost in the previous half hour. I was mildly disappointed that neither ‘Love Forty Down’ nor ‘Silent Key’ appeared in the set on this night, but Turner did touch one last time on ‘Positive Songs’ when he reached the encore, captivating the restless crowd with a stunning performance of ‘Song for Josh’. Once he had our rapt attention, Turner quickly amped up the energy with ‘Try This at Home’ and closed the show on a more characteristic high note with the ‘Four Simple Words’ we were all desperately waiting to dance to.

FT final

Beans on Toast will release his new album ‘Rolling Up the Hill’ in December 2015 via Xtra Mile Recordings. A list of dates for his upcoming November tour of the UK can be found on his official Web site. Frank Turner and Skinny Lister will begin their tour of the UK this week, accompanied by fellow Xtra Mile artist Will Varley; you can find listings of those live dates here and here. TGTF’s full archive of coverage on Frank Turner can be found by clicking here, and our previous coverage of Skinny Lister is right back here.

Frank Turner setlist (setlist photo by Carlos Gonzalez)

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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