There’s still an ongoing list of bands I’d love to see live but have yet to. Skint & Demoralised are definitely one of the bands at the top of this list! Wondering what their shows are like, it also made us question what their favourite shows are. So as they are adding the final touches to their 3rd album, frontman Matt Abbott took the time to speak to AMBY about his five favourite fab gigs!
Growing up in West Yorkshire, it’s always been Leeds Festival above all else that is seen as the Holy Grail for local musicians and gig-goers. If you announce that you’re playing there, people will genuinely be more impressed than Glastonbury for example, and what’s more you know that a fair few people will be there as well. So when we were confirmed for Leeds Fest ’09 I was thrilled. This was the summer when we enjoyed our most successful spell thanks to ‘Red Lipstick’, although I only expected between 500 and 750 people as we were on at noon on the Friday. So when the tent was rammed to capacity and 4,500 people were there waiting to see us as I walked on stage it was absolutely mind-blowing. The atmosphere was fantastic from start to finish, and as long as I live, I genuinely don’t think I’ll ever experience anything quite like that again.
I must admit I’d never heard of iTunes Festival when we were confirmed to play in 2009 as it only started two years earlier, but as soon as I heard it was held at The Roundhouse I was really excited. For a start, The Doors played this venue back in the day, and also having visited as a punter I know how fantastic it is. We were supporting The Noisettes and again I wasn’t expecting much of a crowd being on early, but nevertheless there were 5,000 people greeting me when I walked out and the atmosphere was immense throughout. It felt mad that I was in such a scenario, and the fact that it was filmed for TV made it even more surreal. One of the few occasions when I genuinely felt like a star, and to top it all off, it’s always fantastic to play in Camden!
In a stark contrast to the first two gigs, this was set in a tiny 14th century chapel in Wakefield and was the album launch for our second record ‘This Sporting Life’. I chose the venue along with the guys in the live band at the time and it held a really personal significance for every one of us. It only held around 100 people but the fact that the vast majority were family and friends made it really special, and with the elusive MiNI dOG supporting us on keyboard/organ it sounded great as well. This was a great chance to play our songs in an intimate setting with people wanting to listen as opposed to drunken strangers just wanting to dance, and at the end we all agreed that it was a truly special and unique night. Also, because of the venue, everybody there had the sense that it was a truly one-off event, so I think in that sense there was even further impact.
This was a mini two-date festival held in Dresden and Berlin which comprised entirely of indie/alternative British acts, and we were lucky enough to be billed as the headline act. Neither of us had gigged abroad before and so the entire experience was utterly wonderful. Dresden and Berlin are two beautiful cities and I can honestly say I loved every single moment from start to finish; including the raging hangover that greeted me on the first morning and saw me throwing-up at the side of the autobahn. Even now, the thought of playing our songs in Germany and having people dance and sing along is truly mind-blowing, and it’s safe to say that this was an experience I will never, ever forget. The hospitality over there was superb as well and I’d absolutely love to return some time.
This was my first ever tour, which any musician will agree is an untouchable experience. It was at the point of greatest excitement for my career because we’d started-off well on Mercury Records and knew that ‘Red Lipstick’ was awaiting us in the summer, and at that point it genuinely felt like anything could happen. The opening night of the tour was in Sheffield and that went really well, but I couldn’t for the life in me see us attracting a decent crowd in Glasgow. King Tut’s is renowned as one of the best venues of it’s size, if not the best, so I felt a certain amount of pressure even before we set off. Just before we sound-checked I was told that we’d sold out completely, and to this day a Glasgow crowd is consistently the best I’ve ever played in front of, even though we’ve only been there three times. Everything about that night was fantastic and I always rub my hands with glee when we’re returning to the legendary Wah Wah Hut!
For an interview with Skint and Demoralised, click here!