Skinny Lister will be known to some as a band who’ve shared a label and toured with Frank Turner; to others, a band who’ve made regular appearances at festivals, their quasi-drunken jigs designed to gee up those unwashed tent dwellers well on their way to having a skinful of Doom Bar. …And “designed” is somewhat of a sticking point here. Where you may feel The Pogues had a natural flair for drunken gigs and aggressive performances – it’s well documented that the Pogues bought the party with them wherever, whenever necessary – with Skinny Lister, any relative rowdiness seems very much a facade. Like Bellowhead (a bunch of public schoolboys trying to fool us into thinking they have deep traditions and folk roots) or Mumford & Sons (folk music for those who know almost nothing about folk music), Skinny Lister often sound as if they’re landing on their chosen bandwagon with a mighty thud. The bulk of ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’ is faux folk of the very worst kind.
The final instalment in the quartet of new Levellers videos, you can now watch a clip of the band collaborating on a re-recording of ‘Just The One’ below.
In the 1970s greatest hits collections were a quick way for record companies to bundle together previously released material under the pretence that it was a celebration of a band’s career up to a particular point. These were not usually so much a celebration as a way to make a quick buck, but whatever the justification, such releases rarely troubled the more serious record buyer. In the late 80s, the game changed when record companies began to pad such collections out with two or three unreleased tracks, not only ensuring the collection of singles would sell to a more casual listener, but also hoping it would tempt the long term fan into that extra purchase. Such practice became common.
Some twenty five years after achieving cult success with their folk-rock driven debut, the Levellers are set to celebrate their entire career. Marking years of hit singles and almost relentless touring, they present a 31 song Greatest Hits package this September. For the first time, all of the band’s singles will be available on one release, alongside newly recorded collaborations with Billy Bragg, Frank Turner, Bellowhead & Imelda May.
The release is promoted with a UK tour on which the band will be joined by The Selecter playing their classic album ‘Too Much Pressure’ in full.
The full press statement can be read below.