Skinny Lister +Sean McGowan +Funke and the Two Tone Baby // Joiners Live Review // 19.10.16

Skinny Lister (+ Sean McGowan +Funke and the Two Tone Baby) // Joiners Live Review
                Sean McGowan is a singer songwriter from Southampton and played a secret set prior to Skinny Lister. Upon finding out he was playing, the excitement to see him was phenomenal. I have heard nothing but good things about McGowan and to say I was excited to see what they hype was about would have been a massive understatement. McGowan opened his set with ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ and the gentle acoustic sounds silenced the crowd and the vocals single handedly blew the crowd away. The folky, soft tone to his voice in this opening song had a perfect sound to it that could easily sing anyone to sleep. The stand-out track within his set was ‘Neverland’. This soothing song contained the lyrics “done a Peter Pan and booted off to Neverland” and contained hints of cheeky ad-libs and crowd interaction that made everyone in the room fall dearly in love with him and his cheeky sense of humour.             
Dan Turnball, or as he is more commonly known in the music industry, Funke and The Two Tone Baby, was the second support act for tonight. This singer/songwriter that is a pain to put comfortably into any current musical genre, opened his ground-breaking set with “Never Used to Dance”. The song started with an intriguing mixture of beat boxing from Turnball as he recorded himself and played it on loop before layering it with a funky, guitar melody that created a dance beat for everyone to enjoy. The aggressively spat vocals sat trendily over this hearty, dance track that bought a smile to everyone’s face and a tap to their feet. A personal favourite of mine throughout his set was ‘I’m not Well’. The opening lines of “I’m not well, I think I’m getting ill. As the room spins, I think of things that don’t spin. My doctor said, you’re not right in the head” were sung in a vulnerable, shaky way due to the special effects Turnball inflicted on his microphone. The gentle vocals were soon interrupted by a funky, bass section before he continued with his ability to dictate every pair of eyes in the room so they were on him and his dazzling musical ability and high-energy performance. He closed his set with ‘Not Enough Bonobo’ that swiftly had everyone in the crowd participating in a sing-a-long. His raw creation of complex songs that showcased his multi-talented skills, continued to blow everyone’s mind as his brilliant mix of elements and new, folk, dance sounds had the crowd captivated from start to end.               
The turn-out for headliners and London 6 piece, Skinny Lister, was amazing. The Joiners was sold out on a Wednesday and the drinks were flowing at a very fast pace. This Flogging Molly sounding band had the crowd waiting patiently upon their arrival on stage and when they eventually stepped up, the crowd went mental. Skinny Lister opened their set with track, ‘Wanted’. The rowdy opening let the crowd know what kind of messy night they were in for; beers were immediately spilt and bodies were moshing around the room as if they were all at a festival in the peak of summer. A favourite track of mine, ‘Tragedy in A Minor’ was played 3rd and made it almost impossible for me to take notes as opposed to dancing at the front. This Gogol Bordello sounding, boisterous song had the whole room bouncing and the energy from the fast tempo matched the energy of each member on stage. They continued their set playing favourites such as, ‘George’s Glass’, ‘Injuries’, ‘Devil In Me’, and ‘Rollin’ Over’ before they stumbled into a big crowd pleaser ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’. This was a track that the crowd had clearly been waiting for. With everyone chanting the vocals back to the band as if they had their own secret language with Skinny Lister, the atmosphere was one that I enjoyed watching way too much.            
After playing quite possibly one of the longest sets I’ve encountered at the Joiners, with minimal breaks for breath, constant joining the crowd on the dancefloor and many examples of how crowd surfing should be done, the band finally left the stage. Within half a second the audience were demanding more and it was clear they would not leave until they had heard a few more songs from this lively, party band. They came back on and did 3 encores for this stubborn crowd and ended their night on an ultimate high by treating them to ‘Beat it from the Chest’, ‘£40 Wedding’ and then ended on Levellers sounding song, ‘Six Whiskies’ as the crowd had one last collective sway. Skinny Lister were a delight to watch and their folk sound is one that I can’t wait to try and catch at any festival next year. By comparing them to the likes of Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly and Levellers it’s pretty apparent that this band are one to listen to if you fancy a good piss up as they transport you on the fast-track road to Summer.


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