Hard drinking, hard working, easy going folkateers Skinny Lister are what Mumford & Sons must dream they sound like, before waking up to find they’ve wet the bed again.
Armed with a bull-fiddle, a mandolin, two guitars, two moustaches and no drums, this gloriously raucous sextet set out to storm The Donkey and take no prisoners.
Opening for them was The Skunk-Boy Project, who turns out to be a talented lad with a ukulele, clear tones and ingenious lyrics about brutal tyrants, and not a grimy beatboxer as his name suggests.
This Meltonian student can make you laugh, tap your feed and catch your breath all in the space of a single verse. His infectious tunes and disarming nonchalance mark him out as a young songwriter to be watched.
Skinny Lister on the other hand – well, you couldn’t not watch them if you tried. Each member of the band throws themselves into every song like a coked-up lemming, particularly pint-sized lass Lorna Thomas, a singing and dancing crowd motivator who makes Keith Flint and Maxim look like Statler and Waldorf.
They reel off sea shanties and polkas with thumping enthusiasm, and The Donkey shakes as the crowd is captured by the infectious choruses of singles Rollin’ Over and If The Gaff Don’t Let Us Down.
This is perhaps unsurprising as Lorna and her brother Max hail locally and their family and friends are obviously in attendance (including formidable fiddler Roger Wilson, who lends his talents to several songs tonight, as he does on their LP) but in fairness this band could probably spark a shindig at a mortician’s wake.
By the end of the night there’s table-top dancing, guest vocal performances and a flagon of tasty whiskey is making its way around the pub (courtesy of the Skinnies I should hasten to add). This absurdly entertaining lot are blazing their way to big, bright things, and it was a true treat to catch sight of them on their way there.
Image courtesy of www.skinnylister.com