Words and Photos by Wes Foster
With their latest EP, Skaters have cemented their post-punk orientated selves, heading more in the direction of the likes of ‘Nice Hat’ and ‘This Much I Care’ from the first record. This tongue-in-cheek punk feel is massively beneficial – it gets away from the slightly more pop orientated big hitters on the first album and begins to better suit their whole look and feel, with the tracks feeling spontaneous and raw. One of the particularly strong tracks on the EP is ‘Loner’, with its hefty but sharp guitar riffs. It feels they are delving a little deeper into becoming darker, something with potential since they released Schemers, and is a long overdue evolution for the band.
Support band Church Party provided an exciting opening to the gig with their set of well-composed fuzz-indie, or something like that. Their tracks have this ability to go from heavy to light almost instantaneously, something that many can’t do well. Yet another solid band from Manchester to keep an eye on.
Skaters’ long-awaited return to the UK – on a tour of half-headline, half-support slots for Rat Boy – comes as their second album is well in the works. The set features notably little of their album, instead showcasing new tracks. This was never any detriment though. The tracks work brilliantly to pull you in and hold you there, with the rawness of the music being enough.
Their heavier sides are coming out more and more, mostly visible through drummer Noah Rubin’s flashes of Bonham-esque, mid-track drum fills. Lead singer Michael Ian Cummings now also plays a second guitar to Josh Hubbard, but it doesn’t ever feel unnatural to the band, despite how good he was whilst only focusing on his vocals. He still has the same engaging stage presence and it even perhaps adds a little more edge to the band.
One of the great things about Skaters is they still look like they massively enjoy it, and that goes a long way towards playing and writing well.
The gig took place at Night & Day Café on Sunday 8 May, 2016. It was promoted by SJM Concerts.