Review: The Skints at The Joiners, Southampton

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As you can imagine, I go to a lot of gigs. And yet The Skints, on Friday 27th, was the best gig I’ve been to in a long time. Was it the excitement of being at my first gig since early December? Was it the delightful atmosphere that The Joiners never fails to produce? Was it the impromptu interview with Josh, The Skints guitarist, as he milled around the bar before the gig? (A: all of the above.)

Support came from reggae/ska band The Ohmz. Honestly I don’t think it was possible for them not to be as tight as they were considering how many of them were on the stage (7!). Featuring a three-piece brass section amongst your standard band set-up, I was impressed at their harmonies and just how speedy they were going from playing their saxophone/trumpet/trombones to singing. Often people don’t get into support acts, which is a shame, but that wasn’t the case here – there was even one guy skanking at the front and to quote my mum, “He’s going to lose his shit when The Skints come on”. Featuring covers by Katchafire and Toots and the Maytals, as well as a whole host of originals including my favourites, ‘Gun Violence’ and ‘Positivity’, they didn’t fall into the trap of having never ending songs as is all too easy to do with reggae, and were a fantastic warm-up for The Skints.

It wasn’t long until The Skints themselves came on, kicking off with ‘Rubadub (Done Know)’ and instantly everyone in that room was into it. The lovely thing is there were people in The Joiners that night who were 15 and 50; The Skints are just wonderfully accessible to everyone because they’re not ‘just’ reggae and ska, they’re rocky, slightly punky, one of those bands who are just summed up with ‘Well, their genre is them’. Even they don’t call themselves anything typical, with their Facebook page describing them as ‘Frequency Murderation’.
I’m always impressed by not just how practised and polished they sound but how many instruments Marcia Richards plays throughout a gig. Not just keys, samples and vocals, which she effortlessly multitasks throughout the night, but she frequently whips out a melodica, flute and saxaphone. As I was with The Ohmz, it was impressive how flawlessly she switched between the instruments. Even though as a band they’re incredible, and Josh Waters Rudge’s guitar skills and vocals are fantastic, she really steals the show with how delightfully talented she is.
Because this wasn’t an album tour, just a celebration of Independent Venue Week, The Skints were mixing between all three of their albums which meant we got an ultimate ‘Best Bits’ of their songs – best as in, the most crowd pleasing, dancey, ultimate Skints-y songs. It was fantastic to see a band as huge as The Skints in my adored little Joiners, which was of course all for Independent Venue Week. Josh spent a little bit of time halfway through talking about IVW and how lovely The Joiners is, and to see them supporting such an important week in a venue that means so much to me was just fantastic – I even got the chance to have a pre-show chat with him about IVW which will be on The Edge very soon!
The Skints are just a lovely, innovative and unique band; they even had artwork on old drum skins and a ‘Nice Time’ pale ale that they’d made and were selling at the gig, both in cans and on draught, and it was vegan which is incredibly exciting and definitely the most original merch I’ve ever seen! Having seen them both at The Engine Rooms and now at The Joiners, of course they failed to disappoint on either occasion but seeing them in such an intimate setting made for a wondrous gig and I highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.
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Politics and International Relations graduate, Live Editor 2016-18, now a semi-functional adult and journalist. Fan of cats, gigs and a tea lover - find me rambling about the above @cmkavanagh on Twitter.

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