(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #346: Skinny Lister

By on Tuesday, 10th March 2015 at 12:00 pm

Folk / punk / rock outfit Skinny Lister surely rank as one of the must-see bands at SXSW 2015. Their songs are the populist, crowd-pleasing singalong type that you might expect to hear from their Xtra Mile label mate Frank Turner, but with six members in the band, they are able to create an even bolder and more expansive sonic ethos. As with so many bands these days, they break through genre barriers to combine the traditional instrumentation of folk music with the spirit and energy of rock and roll, and they throw a hint of punk attitude into the mix for added flair.

Band members Daniel Heptinstall, siblings Lorna and Maxwell Thomas, Michael Camino, Thom Mills and Sam Brace hail from different parts of England, but they share a common background in folk music that remains at the heart of their sound. Skinny Lister’s first album ‘Forge & Flagon’ was unmistakably rooted in that tradition, drawing the inevitable comparison to Mumford and Sons when it was released in the summer of 2012. But with their upcoming album ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’, they have expanded their stylistic repertoire beyond waltzes and sea shantys, at least as far as the first teaser tracks are concerned.

Current single ‘Cathy’ is described on Skinny Lister’s Web page as “one of several songs about a scarlet lady, someone that you’ve fallen for that you shouldn’t have fallen for”. The accompanying video includes a presumably metaphorical biology lesson about jellied eels; read into that what you will as you watch below.

Judging from the two live gig videos we’ve previously featured (‘This Is War’ and ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’), Skinny Lister’s raucous energy and infectious vocal harmonies are enough to steal the spotlight at any showcase they might play. And, as an added bonus, they feature an accordion and an upright bass in their guitar-driven instrumental arrangements. Who doesn’t love a well-played accordion?

If you aren’t making the trek to Austin this year, you can get your Skinny Lister fix later this spring. The band’s new album ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’ is due for release on the 20th of April via Xtra Mile Recordings. Just following the release, Skinny Lister will play a run of live dates back in the UK. Previous TGTF coverage of Skinny Lister can be found here.

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