Skinny Living at the Borderline
Middle of the week, middle of the city, navigating the mid of sounds and words, the soulful music of Skinny Living pleasantly animated the evening at the Borderline in Soho.
Mixing and shaping notes with influences that span from pop to soul, a bit of funk and a pinch of country, the band sings about love and difficulties in the journey of life, and finding one’s own feet. With touching lyrics set to melodic arrangements, Skinny Living sometimes run the risk of falling into the same tune. During the night, however, the group moved just in time from one song to another, skipping influences and keeping up their line.
Never Been Hurt filled the hazy air of the club with a pronounced rhythm, including a section all for Will Booth to play on his acoustic guitar. Despite a small incident at the beginning with a broken string, the musician’s performance was remarkable throughout the evening, as his bridges in Have You Ever further demonstrated.
Down on the list, it took a bit of time for the really good material to explode in the room. If Love’s Enough presented an interesting blending of sounds, with vocals, drum and bass overlapping and entwining in a fine combination delivered with gusto.
Moving from a more country-influenced Breathe to a groovy Got Control, the band finally struck powerful notes with the slow Messiah, where Ryan Johnston’s voice reached high pitches without difficulty, keeping his warm and strong tone. The first part of the gig closed on new track Fade, a brilliant hit whose beats touched the low as well as high keys with fluidity, influenced by soft pop. One of the most enjoyable tracks was The Journey, at the core of Skinny Living’s spirit: the soulful music flowed with rhythm – lively and acoustic – the words connected to the experiences, at all levels, of everyone in the audience.
As unexpected as Skinny Living’s vocals and acoustic treatment was the appearance of frontman Ryan Johnston and guitarist Danny Hepworth among the public for Story Book, which smoothly led the night to an end.
Photos: Yufan Wang
For further information and future events visit the Skinny Living website here.
Watch the video for Fade here: