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Skinny Lister Skinny Lister
Album: The Devil, The Heart & The Fight
Label: Xtra Mile
Tracks: 12

A veritable walking definition of rowdy punk folk, the sextet (currently based across the UK, from Bristol to Hastings) play to the mosh pit gallery with their fists in the air, foot stomping approach, guaranteed to shake the dust from any folk club's rafters, were any brave enough to lure them away from their natural sweaty, crowded rock habitats.

They come out fighting with "Wanted", a rollicking charge saluting London, New York and Cairo, fuelled by Clash DNA spliced with shanty vigour, keeping the energy going with "Geordie Lad", an autobiographical ode to former bassist Dan Gray, that positively bounces off the walls, before slowing down the pace and taking a quick breather towards the end. Shanty roots combine with Adam and the Ants for "Tragedy In A Minor" (inspired by their drummer getting dumped two months before his wedding) before they ease up on the throttle slightly as Lorna Thomas takes over from Dan Heptinsall on vocals for the mid-tempo chiming "Devil In Me", a soaring chorus cautionary tale about taking payback on some chap that did the dirty on the narrator. The darker side of life also veins "Injuries", an acoustic strummed shanty stomp about the bare knuckle fight of life, though they're in far more positive mood on "Fair Winds & Following Seas", a tribute to the fans met on tour and "tearing up the town" together.

There's romance in their veins too, check out the Dan and Lorna acoustic duet "Reunion", the slow march sway of "Carry" and the concertina-accompanied "Grace". However, Lorna again on vocals, they're far more at home on something like "Hamburg Drunk", a rousing Pogues-like knees-up about letting your hair down while out on the road and "Beat It From The Chest", a strident foot stomping call to arms shanty set to an arms-linked marching beat. They may never get to make an album with Martin Carthy, but they're as 100% folk as he is.

Mike Davies