By Lisa Mary
Reporter Lisa Mary hears from Midlands-based band – “fun but angry indie owls” -The Skirr about jamming, gigs and world domination.
I must say thatyou never experienced randomness until you speak with The Skirr. I have never laughed so much, heard the word “mint” used as an adjective so many times … and that’s not to mention the owl fixation. And yet, in fly The Skirr!
The loud and proud band is made up of:Chris Whyte (guitar and vocals), Gus Nicol (guitar and vocals), Rick Davies (bass and backing vocals) and Andy Walker (sticks and swagger). An indie pop-rock band. Rick explains that their influences are “Scott Joplin to The Offspring… via the Bee Gees”. So a wide mix for a band whose sound is equally as original and engaging. I should also add that Andy said: “I quite like the music from that Fiesta advert. Not the newest one. The one before that. It’s quite good.” I think you can already tell that this band come with their own brand of humour. Skircastic!
Based in the Midlands, they describe their sound as “unique”, “classy” with Gus defining it as:“Big-pop-hooks-fat-drum-beats-jangly-tele-strumming-punchy-bass-tweaking-blood-curdling-screaming-gently-harmonising-ness”; this band evidently has a lot to offer.They have performed atan array of events including Oxjam 2012 in Lichfield, Kerrang! Radio’s Battle of the Musicians 2012 in Hednesford, and the Battle of the Bands 2011 at Staffordshire University at which they were awarded the top prize. Their success still remains a surprise to the band members, with Gus sharing that “it’s a constant surprise to me that for real this little band is pretty good!”
As a band with a “constant forward momentum”, they are planning to record an EP later this year which is likely to feature some of their heavier numbers. Their songs range from semi-autobiographical pieces to sudden inspirations, with lyrics often flourishing from one single idea. Chris said, “Having three songwriters in the band and a variety of different influences means our music is entertaining and unpredictable. Our show starts off with Weezer, then transforms into Mumford & Sons and then ends with The Beatles, but all songs still very much The Skirr.”
Live playing still remains this band’s forte, as Rick says: “Our live set is quite varied. Some bands are quite predictable and each song sounds like the last. We like to keep our audience guessing. We have a solid mix of pop, rock, punk, and slower songs as well.” Keeping their audience engaged is not going to be a problem with this bunch; they are charismatically funny with a quirky edge as they bounce off each other. It would be impossible to encounter a dull moment with these guys; they’re too witty and cheeky for one thing and that’s not to mention their music!
Having listened to some of their original material, it is clear that the Skirr have a distinctive energy. Understated at times, with strong vocals and a poppy-rhythmic beat, they have produced some charming lyrical pieces with catchy choruses. On the other end of the spectrum, songs such as ‘4Company’ (the B-side to their forthcoming single, ‘Steal the Sun’) has an almost bluesy-metal meets indie quality with a strong base and guitar leading the piece with the vocals as a melodic top-layer.
It is clear that The Skirrhave worked hard to arrive at their current sound and are continuing to flourish with each gig. Releasing their single in June is a moment the band looks forward to, and their fans wait in anticipation. An exciting time for the band, who’ve already come so far and I am convinced that there is nothing but success awaiting them this year. With songs to hum along to, songs to boogie to and songs that are owl up in your grill (see what I did there?!), they are not a band who can be ignored. That’s along with the plan for “more gigs leading to world domination.” And with a band this technically accurate and engaging, who knows?
So, if you’re looking for a band with a fantastic sense of humour, some phatbeets(the puns keep coming!) and a sound that’s paradoxically easy-listening yet full … The Skirr are for you. As Rick says: “Listen or else.” And if you don’t, you really will be missing out.