Skinny Lister

Live at Boise’s Neurolux

4/5/2012 8:30pm


Since Nanobot Rock Reviews is new to the Boise area, I found no better way to test the waters of the local music scene than to dive right in to a live show at one of the many area venues.  I was surprised to find the Neurolux to be as characteristic as it was. The retro décor seemed a bit odd to be listening to a Folk/Celtic Rock band, but I’d come to find out that the establishment and the band weren’t necessarily too far off.

Kicking off the night, Jonathan Warren and the Billy Goats did just what we’d hope for from an opening band, they brought the energy. Their off-the-beaten path style of honkytonk influenced folk was a pleasant surprise for those beginning to stumble into the venue.

After an hour long opening set, I was approached by a gentleman with a well kempt mustache. He shook my hand and said “Hi, I’m Dan.”  Dan Gray, bassist for Skinny Lister, would go on to explain to me that by reaching Boise, they have travelled about six thousand miles just by road. Now I’m not a travelling musician, but something tells me that five people from England trekking through the Western United States by car is not the most ideal means of travel. Nonetheless, their spirit, energy, and music cannot be broken.

With a brief “This is the final call for Dan. Dan our bass player, your presence is requested on stage” comically announced by songwriter and accordion player Max we were under way.  From the moment the quintet (front man Dan Heptinstall , front woman and energy liaison Lorna Thomas, Max Thomas, shanty singer Sam ‘Mule’ Brace and Dan Gray)  took their places on stage to the end of their, just over an hour, set time seemed to stand still. It didn’t matter that a disappointingly mere 25 people stayed throughout with a few strays coming and going in the seats.  Skinny Lister’s presence was electrifying and massive. Varying in song from the traditional, to the borderline Celtic/folk-punk/rock, to the upbeat original folk styling Skinny Lister is a band to not be missed. I was new to their music that night and I’ll be a fan forever. They have the unique ability to seemingly play to everyone and get them to react in unison with their anthem-like chants, modernized folk songs and undeniably infectious energy. By the third song in, “Colors,” it was clear that their sound was bigger than the venue we were in and would give some of the largest festivals a run for their money. A Skinny Lister show is meant to be experienced with many. Take your friends, take your significant other or take your dog if you have to. Like one large party, the more the merrier. Their ability to maintain their sound and attitude whether playing to a few or the masses really negated the underwhelming turnout. Unfortunately, like any of the great shows, it came to a close all too soon.   Though the English folk band had finished their set, they were not hasty in their departure. They took the time to sit down and chat with those who showed and even signed a few singles.

Skinny Lister are heading to Reno, San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, and then capping off their tour in Denver. If you get the chance to see them, do not miss this show! Bring your friends, because this is the type of band that delivers on their promise of an unforgettable show.