Skaters at DingwallsCultureMusicLive music
The story of Skaters reads something like a modern rock n roll dream – a few guys from far-flung corners of the planet meet at a house party and, a year later, Warner Bros intervene. And we can see why. Elements of their sound, in particular the down-stroke-only rhythm guitars, will remind many of one of the last decade’s most popular and influential bands: The Strokes.
The point is: nobody cared who or what comparisons Skaters conjured up this sweaty Wednesday at Dingwalls, because whatever it was, the result was pretty damn effective. If they haven’t done their 10,000 hours (they haven’t – they formed when Londoner and guitarist Josh Hubbard ended up in New York City for what was supposed to be a 45 day holiday in 2011. Hubbard and singer Michael Cummings met a few months before in California), they’re certainly approaching that level of mastery. Their musical dexterity is revealed beyond doubt by a confident encore rendition of The Smiths’ This Charming Man.
It’s not just their pop credentials that make these guys a hit with a house packed full of what seems like the creamiest of the Dalston crop. Leather jacket-clad post-teens spill their pints on our shoes as their hips give way semi-voluntarily to Cummings and co’s mix of genuine melody and scuzz-bag charm. Among the crowd there is an instant familiarity with the songs, most of which are from the newly released debut LP Manhattan – named after the sound desk used to engineer the record’s sessions at Electric Lady in NYC. The latter part of the set features songs from their 2012 EP Schemers and, actually, these seem a little less comfortably negotiated than the earlier ones, which impress us as a cut above the older tracks in terms of their arrangement and realisation. More than once or twice the Skaters sound takes on a kind of Calypso character. Afro-beat rhythms and ska guitar parts round the sound out and give the band a character distinct from the average garage revival band.
An overall riot of a show from a group that doesn’t seem to take itself as seriously as it might or even should. We sense this won’t be the last we hear of this band, nor the last time we write about them.
Photos: Helen Parish
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Watch the video for Miss Teen Massachusetts here: