Skinny Lister – A Shanty Punk Party

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Support – Truckstop Honeymoon

Live at The Brickyard Carlisle on Thursday 24th Nov

Review and Photographs by Linda McDermott

Truckstop Honeymoon

The Brickyard in Carlisle is a great venue for live music and when I arrived there was a crowd of around sixty people already there and a few waiting at the barrier for the supporting band to perform. I was intrigued when husband and wife, Mike and Katie took to the stage. They were charismatic, hilarious and engaging right from the start with a tale and a joke in between each song. Mike expertly played the banjo and guitar and Katie the bass, until they did what Mike said was a ‘costume change’ and then he played guitar and Katie played the banjo.

They have several albums to their name documenting tales of their life over the years, some songs happy, some tinged with sadness, but all songs sung perfectly. We heard stories of their house being washed away by Hurricane Katrina and the first they knew was when it was on the front page of the New York Times as they were touring at the time. They asked everyone to buy a CD because they didn’t want the kids fighting over who had to take them if they died!! They had us all hypnotised by the end of the set to the point that I felt everyone in the room knew them and we were all friends.

Mike and Katie are originally from New Orleans and although no more dates in the UK are on their calendar, they are well worth having a listen to as they are creative and gifted in what they do. They have amazingly recorded and produced over two hundred albums for other Americana, Old Time, and Folk artists, showing how talented a couple they are.

Set List


Sunday in Ponca City


Bad Attitude

Johnny and June

Tugboat Captain

Your Mother is a Sociopath

Georgia and Blue

She Wants to be French

The Cover of the New York Times

Check out their website.

Skinny Lister

As the night unfolded the room suddenly filled up as more people arrived and Skinny Lister took to the stage. As soon as the band started playing there was an energy and enthusiasm that permeated the crowd as the band encouraged active audience participation. With shared vocals, mainly between Lorna and Dan but with everyone else joining in, they had a great energetic sound helped along by the deep notes of the double bass, the rhythmic beats of drums, the strumming of a guitar, and the distinctive tones of an accordion. The lively music had the energetic spirit of the Pogues and Dexys Midnight Runners, add in a bit of punky folk music and that’s what had the entire venue pulsating with energy.

As I looked around the room some people couldn’t resist the rhythm and were soon dancing, creating a lively atmosphere that swept through the entire venue. Everyone was smiling, and the floor itself seemed to come alive, moving in tandem with the exuberant crowd, it was impossible to not join in with what seemed like a celebration.

The band’s spirited dancing on stage mirrored the audience’s excitement, making it a reciprocal event between performers and attendees. At one point Lorna, having told everyone about Dan’s failed arm wrestling attempts came off stage and started arm wrestling with members of the audience while the rest of the band carried on singing. She was also navigating her way through the crowd with a bottle of beer looking for someone to open it for her, luckily my husband had a bottle opener on his keyring which is always handy in a crisis.

The infectious energy of the performance and the engagement of the audience created a memorable experience. Having never seen the band before they are a fantastic discovery for me, I can honestly say Skinny Lister is good for your health, they are a tonic with their infectious passion and enthusiasm.

It was one of those nights to remember, with a nineteen-song set, a vibrancy emanating from the stage, upbeat music and an audience who were having the best time, Skinny Lister should be one hundred per cent on your go-see list.

Set List


Forge on George

Tragedy in a Mirror

Rattle and Roar




Forty Pound Wedding



Geordie Lad

Damn the Amsterdam



Rollin Over

This is War

Devil in Me

Company at the Bar

Trouble on Oxford Street

Skinny Lister formed in 2010 in London with their own rowdy folk/punk sound. They have six albums to date, the latest ‘Shanty Punk’ came out in October this year. They have released three songs from the album with ‘Mantra’ being the latest. Dan says ‘The song is a reminder to recognise what we have while we have it, enjoy the moment. It’s all too easy to recognise what we have once it’s gone. Sometimes it’s good to not be looking forward or back, but to value the here and now.

The band are on a massive tour of the UK and Europe over the coming months, and you can find out where to catch them on their website

Check out the videos for their latest songs.


Company at the Bar

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