Skinny Lister - Camden Lock Tavern - - Soundblab

Skinny Lister - Camden Lock Tavern

by Katie Smith Rating: Release Date:

"Gigs, diddles, dancing and refreshments" was how Skinny Lister's Grand Union Boat Tour was billed. An ambitious plan from the eccentric folk fivesome saw Skinny Lister boarding a narrowboat in Bedfordshire and navigating their way through the British waterways and a 10 date tour schedule. What's that you say? Why not throw some recording equipment onboard and produce an EP along the way? Tally-ho and away we go; they did just that. Half-way along they stopped off in Camden to have a good ol' knees up and release the EP and that's where we caught them, at the Lock Tavern.

The packed upstairs bar was bedecked with bunting and bearded chaps, and before the band had even got on stage there was a palpable excitement in the air; this was going to be a rip-roaring, eccentric affair. Raising the roof and getting the crowd do-si-do-ing were infectious melodies and lyrics alluding to country ambles, and late night star-gazing. Gig goers were stood on bar stools, tables and window frames, foot stomping to the likes of 'Trawler Man' and it's easily remembered chorus which enabled full crowd participation. The more wistful 'Plough and Orion,' with its gentle harmonies, washed over the raucous crowd with a calming effect. The promise of free rum was kept, as a large stone rum jar was hoisted through the crowd. "Who's hogging all the rum?" called the jar back to the stage where Daniel, Lorna, Max, Sam and Dan each took long glugs. The three male vocals plus Lorna on her ukulele were backed up at times by two accordions, double bass and guitar. Without a doubt, top marks awarded for effort. The gutsy performance and the rosy cheeks of the band made it almost hard to believe that there's only been one insurance claim on the boat tour so far...

Ditties and traditional shanties were added to with songs written by family members; one song was accredited to Lorna and Dan's father George Thomas, or 'Party George'. You get the distinct impression that family life is one big barn dance for this lot. Sadly the gig was cut short thanks to some unfortunate double-booking on the venue's part, but not before the Grand Union EP was dished out to all. Catch them as they stumble back aboard to complete the rest of their tour, or if you're lucky, at one of the late summer festivals they're appearing at. Skinny Lister certainly know how to throw a party, haulin' and trawlin' their way from shanty to shanty. You could have been forgiven for thinking you felt the boat swaying beneath your feet. Or was that just the rum?

Skinny Lister's Great British Narrowboat tour set off from Linslade in Bedfordshire to Camden Lock in old London town and is now heading back again. It's a ten day waterway adventure that ends on August 31. Check the band's website to see where their next stop is: skinnylister.com

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