Tom Jenkins, Billy Liar, Skinny Lister: A Matter Of Life And Love Tour

The Caves, Edinburgh

The Full Moon was shining its rays over Aulde Reekie on a bitterly cold, crisp and frosty December evening. I was heading to the Old Town, a venue called The Caves, steeped in history and situated upon one of Edinburgh’s most powerful leylines for my first Skinny Lister experience along with, not one, but two fine support acts.

First up. Tom Jenkins. all the way from my Motherland, Pontypridd in the valleys of South Wales, a young artist with an inherent fine voice singing songs inspired by his travels around New Zealand complemented by expert guitar playing which proved to be the perfect opener for this rebel rousing night of Celtic grace, warming up the venue and the audience perfectly.

Next up, Billy Liar another solo artist, one of Edinburgh’s finest young Punk As Fuck offerings who has toured extensively through the Uk, mainland Europe, America and Australia, Another expert guitarist and brilliant songwriter, with a voice that has gathered just international acclaim, Billy proved to be another perfect, warm-up for the nights headlining act. The audience were going wild.

Up until this point I had been a Skinny Lister virgin, the capacity audience rapturously welcomed this mighty band on stage as they took us on a journey, expertly warmed up by a brilliant choice of support acts. Skinny Lister ripped into a performance of Celtic stompers, not too dissimilar from The Pogues in their prime, a cajun rockabilly masterclass that has seduced the world since they formed in 2009 The Band have seen many line-up changes throughout the years before settling on this current incarnation of brilliance. Performing songs from their 2021 long player.‘A Matter of Life & Love’, written and produced by the band themselves along with other numbers drawn from an extensive repertoire of the four LPs and numerous EPs that they have released and a few numbers taken from a new body of work.

Written through Dan and Lorna’s recent journey of becoming parents for the first time, it really is a heartwarming family affair, with Lorna’s brother Max on backing vocals and mandolin. Grandparents were on tour too, providing babysitting duties for the entire tour, and Lorna and Max’s father George Heptinstall. taking lead vocals on one of the songs. It’s no wonder this band have such a loyal following they are brilliant. Even dishing out free shots of whiskey to the audience members. Everyone was beaming and having a really Good Time.

Each of the band members have a striking presence beautiful and handsome, Tim Hilsden is a powerhouse of a drummer and Scot Milsom the Bass Player (Double Bass and Electric Bass) is so incredibly cool and funky with supermodel looks. Dan Heptinstall the lead Singer and guitarist equally rich in talent and looks and completing the male voice section, Max Thomas, equally with handsome swagger and mastery of his instrument The female lead vocalist Lorna Thomas a beautiful rock star whose voice and talent completely owned the stage and audience. she had us all in the palm of her hand. Indeed the combination of this collective called Skinny Lister is a sure-fired success A most excellent performance and a brilliant night out. Skinny Lister are going to be huge in 2023, watch this space.

Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photography: Raymond Speedie

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