Psyko Steve Presents
WILL VARLEY, COCKSWAIN
130 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ, 85004
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Skinny Lister are not your average, modern day, gentrified English folk group. Fronted by Dan Heptinstall and Lorna Thomas; a vocalist with a lusty cackle and flirtatious presence, the London based five-piece hail from across England. Borrowing the nickname from the Lister family, pioneers in the use of anesthetic, the band have grown naturally and organically over the past two years. Yorkshire born songwriter Heptinstall, Lorna's older brother Max, and long-time shanty singer Sam 'Mule' Brace, met some time ago at a folk club in London's Greenwich area. The arrival of Tyneside bassist Dan Gray and the naturally exuberant Lorna lifted them into another realm. Up on their stomping feet and clicking their heels, the Skinny Lister sound took hold as Dan's perceptive ballads and folkie idylls were boosted by an eruption of a rambunctious free spirited rum fueled party music. Soon the Skinny Lister sound was charging down the nation's canals and waterways, bursting into spontaneous song in pubs and clubs, kicking up a summer frenzy at numerous festivals. Over 30 festivals in fact, a nonstop work rate that saw them acknowledged and awarded by PRS as the 'Hardest Working Band' of summer 2011. "We travelled hundreds of miles together in a Land Rover with a double bass strapped to the roof, sharing the driving, playing gigs every night and going out to party afterwards. We didn't make it easy on ourselves but it does bond you as family." Dan recollects. Their allure is immediate - at a time when modern homegrown folk music often spells designer bearded, theme park Americanisation, Skinny Lister are a welcome throwback to earthier bands. Their musical blend has something of The Pogues' infectious camaraderie and jovial recklessness combined with the bucolic English landscape of Alfred Wainwright's fell walking guides. Now, captured by producer David Wrench (Bat for Lashes, James Yorkston) on debut album Forge & Flagon, the band's distinctive qualities make their mark. Titled after a homemade pub ran by Lorna and Max's family friends, Forge & Flagon marks Skinny Lister as an outfit who are decidedly more than the sum of their parts. Galvanised by months of road action they transform traditional and contemporary influence into a singular sound. See them live and the impression is fortified. Not least as Lorna's outgoing crowd connecting personality is replicated by the rum dispensing, skirt hiking, leg shaking, five strong, all female, party starting troupe the Skinny Sisters. The group's folk roots go back to Leicester where Lorna and melodeon playing Max spent much of their youth at local folk clubs, hanging out under the stairs as the traditional sound filled the air. When Lorna reconnected with Max and Dan in London she found their interest in the local Thameside folk scene had blossomed to provide an exciting outlet for her newly finessed singing and ukulele skills. "As soon as they put the diddles, polkas and jigs in there, there was no holding me back," she laughs. "We never sat down again," explains Dan logically. The folk fever proved infectious and irresistible; "For years on the first weekend after Plough Monday every year, my dad has gone to sing songs and get legless with the local Molly Dancers. I disowned him at the time but now, of course, I join him!" notes Lorna.
Rambling folk singer Will Varley, who this year walked over 500 miles along England's south coast with a guitar on his back, is gearing up for the release of his third album next year. His last two received rave reviews from The Independent, fRoots & Q magazine and in February the 27 year old singer-songwriter was invited to open for Frank Turner, who described him as "One the best singer-songwriters in the UK."
His return from the walking tour saw tracks played on BBC Radio 2, 6 & XFM including mentions from Steve Lamacq, Communion Records show and Rob Da Bank. The summer saw Varley visit some of the country's finest music festivals, performing his fiery brand of contemporary folk songs from Kendal Calling to Cambridge Folk Festival and everywhere in between. He was also invited to play the BBC Introducing stage at 2014's Secret Garden Party.
Formed in 2011 Cockswain made their St. Patrick’s Day debut in 2012 and have been working on developing their own style that can only be described as high energy celtic rock with gypsy rhythms and punk rock attitude. The word “Cockswain” means “one who steers the ship”. To the band, lead singer Neil Ward put it like this: “It is more about being in charge of ones own destiny. Rebels. Stay true to themselves.”
Cockswain is known in the Phoenix, Arizona Irish pub scene performing 3-hour sets on a regular basis at places like Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub and Fibber Magees Irish Restaurant & Pub. Recently the band has expanded to play in Flagstaff, Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, and Henderson, NV. In November 2016, Cockswain made their festival debut playing three 1-hour sets at the Tucson Celtic Festival.
Originally from the Phoenix punk rock music scene, Arizona native Neil Ward formed Cockswain to combine his love for punk rock and traditional Irish music. Joining him is bassist Clint Davis, Amanda Lubking on fiddle, Wake Lubking on banjo, Brian Daily on drums, and Evan Fourness on lead guitar.
Many influences can be heard in Cockswain’s high energy hard driving music including The Pogues, The Clash, The Who, Gogol Bordello, The Dubliners to name just a few. Their debut album titled “Seamus” was released in April 2015. Produced and recorded by Mike Bolenbach at his Full Well Recording Studio, the album is packed with original songs about booze, lost loves, ghosts, and devils, “Seamus” was described by the Phoenix New Times as music “With a punk delivery, an Irish heart, and a modern vision to make this kind of music contemporary, Cockswain truly succeeds at what it does, and it sounds great.” Cockswain’s follow up to “Seamus” and second full length album “For the Whiskey” was released March 6th 2017.
$16.00 - $18.00
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