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Skinny Lister: The Devil, The Heart, The Fight

review skinny x1 cong

Roaring drunk in Hamburg. Locked in a bunker in Berlin. Tearing up the road in New York and Tokyo. Dreaming of Cairo. Originally recorded in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. They get about.

We saw these live at Rode Hall’s Just So festival in 2016 (we think; possibly 2015). This album was put together while they were on the road, and recorded over five weeks in Newcastle-Under-Lyme’s Silk Mill Studio with producer Tristan Ivemy, who has worked with Frank Turner. It’s now re-issued on a deluxe two CD set, with CD2 a live recording, which is more of the same but with cheering.

They’re a live band and on CD it’s a little restrained; good but not great. Having said that, we have played this heavily the past month and while we’ve never grown to love any songs we’ve never tired of anything. It always lifts the spirits, too; best played loud.

Sound-wise imagine The Pogues meeting Frank Turner by way of The Levellers and Adam and the Ants. Comparisons with the Mumfords are also unavoidable. Skinny Lister beat you into smiling submission; it’s impossible not to find something to like or a toe to tap on this raucous set. If you want punky folk rock sea shanties that you can shout the chorus to, you could do far, far worse. Good musicians but a straightforward approach. They’ve got the same earthy folk sound as Turner. Try Beat It From The Chest (as it sounds), or the Pogue-ish Hamburg Drunk.

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    […] 1980s Sagittarius, about a singer called Laura, the punchline being she’s with the excellent Skinny Lister, who’ve played Just So and recorded their debut in […]

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