Skinny Lister

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Skinny Lister
Wiesbaden Folklore 013 Skinny Lister 1.JPG
Skinny Lister in Wiesbaden, Germany 2013
Background information
OriginGreenwich, London, England
GenresFolk, Indie folk, Folk punk
Years active2009 (2009)-present
LabelsImperial Music, Sunday Best Recordings, Side One Dummy, Uncle Owen, Xtra Mile Recordings
MembersDaniel Heptinstall (2009 - present)
Lorna Thomas (2009 - present)
Maxwell Thomas (2009 - present)
Sam Brace (2009 - 2013, 2014-present)
Thom Mills (2014-present)
Scott Milsom (2017 - present)
Past membersDan Gray (2009 - 2012)
Dave Neale (2013 - 2014)
Andy "Slim" Black (2013 - 2014)
Michael Camino (2012 - 2017)

Skinny Lister are a British folk band formed in London in 2009. Initially performing as a five-piece band until October 2013 when a drummer was added. They are signed to Xtra Mile Recordings,[1] and were previously signed to Sunday Best Records in the UK, SideOneDummy Records in the US,[2] and Uncle Owen Records in Japan.[3]


The band were formed in London in 2009 having met through folk clubs in Greenwich. Prior to forming Skinny Lister, Dan Heptinstall, Sam Brace and Dan Grey had played together in Indie band The Alps.

Dan Gray left the band in the summer of 2012 and was replaced with Michael Camino from Hawaii, USA. In the spring of 2013 Sam Brace left the band and was replaced by Andy "Slim" Black; he has since rejoined. In the autumn of 2013 the band expanded to a six piece with the addition of drummer Dave.[4]

The band name is usually said to be taken from the nickname of someone Dan Heptinstall was at school with.

Early years and first album - 2009-2013[edit]

During their first year the band put three tracks on iTunes - "Plough & Orion", "December", and "The Kite Song".

During 2010 the band put out a two CD-only EPs: "Grand Union EP"[5] which was recorded on a canal boat as they toured down the Grand Union Canal network and the "Homemade Tour EP"[6] recorded at friends and family residences as the band toured their hometowns.

In 2011, the band played more festivals than anyone else in UK and were officially crowned 'Hardest Working Band in UK' by PRS[7] and less officially by the Evening Standard.[8]

Skinny Lister appeared at SXSW at the beginning of 2012[9] and then staged a short tour of the USA in April. During this time they auditioned for SideOneDummy Records and Kevin Lyman in Los Angeles, California in the record label's car park and were immediately offered a place on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour.[10] The band signed up and appeared playing three times a day much to audience delight and critical acclaim, Rolling Stone highlighting the band in a review of the tour.[11]

On return from the USA the band scheduled a number of dates in Germany including Haldern Pop and Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg,[12] and a UK tour in October to coincide with the release of double AA side single, "Forty Pound Wedding" and "Seventeen Summers". Before the band left for the US, they appeared on Terry Wogan's Sunday morning BBC Radio 2 show.[13]

In 2013, Skinny Lister started the year with a tour of Germany[14] in January and then immediately flew to the USA to join Flogging Molly[15] on the first half of their annual Green17 Tour. The band also appeared at SXSW 2013[16] and played Coachella[17] as well as a number of other major festivals internationally during the summer of 2013.

Their debut album Forge & Flagon was released in June 2012 in the UK and Europe[18] January 2013 in the USA[2] and July 2013 in Japan.[19]

Line up changes and second album — 2012-15[edit]

Between 2012 and 2014 Skinny Lister went through a number of line up changes. At the end of August 2012 Dan Grey left and was replaced by Michael Camino who the band had met on the Vans Warped Tour.

In April 2013 Sam 'Mule' Brace left the band and was replaced by Andy 'Slim' Black who made his debut with the band at South by South West in Texas.

In the autumn of 2013, the band expanded to a six piece by adding Dave Neale on drums. This six piece line up toured Britain and Germany in the autumn of 2013 before going into the studio to record the band's second album, Down on Deptford Broadway.

Skinny Lister's second album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in December 2013 and was released on 20 April 2015. It was produced by Ted Hutt.[20]

The band began 2014 with a tour of the USA supporting Dropkick Murphy's and a tour of the UK supporting Boy George. They then toured the USA and played a number of UK festivals during the summer.

Drummer Dave Neal left to concentrate on another project and suggested his replacement Thom Mills. Mills made his debut on the Boy George Tour, but Neal chose the last night of that tour as his final gig with the band.

On 16 September 2014 it was announced that the band had signed to Xtra Mile Recordings and that the second album would be out in spring 2015.[21]

On 17 September 2014, Andy Black left the band by mutual consent and was replaced by his predecessor Sam Brace.

During October 2014 the band played a short tour of Japan, followed by a tour of five English cities where they played the new album in its entirety for the first time. The first single from the album Trouble on Oxford Street was released in January 2015. A video for the song was made available on 20 November 2014.

In the autumn of 2015 Skinny Lister supported Frank Turner in the USA and UK. In January 2016 they supported him in Germany.

On 20 November 2015 Skinny Lister released "This Christmas", a collaboration with Xtra Mile Recordings labelmate Beans On Toast with proceeds going to Homelessness charity Shelter.

In March 2016 the band played on Flogging Molly's "Salty Dog" cruise, they also headlined a short tour of the eastern USA supported by Beans On Toast and Will Varley.

Third album 2016-17[edit]

In May 2016 the band went into The Silk Mill Studio in Newcastle Under Lyme with producer Tristan Ivemy to record their third album. On 23 July the band announced via social media and their website that the album was to be called The Devil, the Heart, and the Fight, and would be released on 30 September.[22] The announcement was accompanied by a video for the first single from the album, entitled "Wanted".

On 27 September, three days before the album's official release the NME website carried a feature and full stream.[23]

The album release was followed by tours of the UK and the US. The London date on this tour was given a 5/5 review by National newspaper The Independent.[24]

The album entered the UK Indie Album Chart at number 38.[25]

In early 2017, Michael Camino took time off to recover from an ankle injury, and in March, he announced that he would not return from his time off, and was leaving the band.[26] Scott Milsom of Coffin Nails and Big Boss Man had filled in for Camino on a European tour supporting Dropkick Murphys, and was then announced as a permanent replacement when Michael Camino's departure was announced.[27]

In October 2017 a deluxe edition of The Devil, the Heart, and the Fight was released with a second disc containing three completely new songs, some live recordings, some different versions of existing songs, and what is described as "band chat" introducing different sections of the second disc.

Fourth album[edit]

During 2017 in interviews and social media Q&A sessions the band hinted that a fourth album would be released in the spring or summer of 2018. In July 2017 the band returned to Rockfield Studios and have also spent time in other studios. It is likely that the new songs on the deluxe version of The Devil, the Heart, and the Fight were recorded in these sessions, but it is not known how much other material has also been recorded.

Between late June and late September 2018 photos on the band's Instagram account showed them in Blue Bell Hill Studio near Chatham recording the fourth album. This was also stated in a blog post on the band's official website.[28]

On 31st October 2018 the bands various social media accounts announced that the album would be called "The Story is..." and would be released on 1st March 2019. The announcement also included dates for the UK and European legs of a World Tour.[29]

The album was produced by Barny Barnicott and has been described as "A loosely-based concept album, ‘The Story Is…’ anthologises a series of personal vignettes inspired by a chaotic few years for the band and binds them into 14 tracks of unmistakably Skinny-sounding rock’n’roll."[30]


The band was originally a five piece, expanding to a six piece in the autumn of 2013.

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Dan Grey: double bass, vocals (2009- August 2012)
  • Dave Neale - drums (October 2013–March 2014)
  • Andy "Slim" Black - guitar, mandolin and vocals (April 2013–17 September 2014)
  • Michael Camino - double bass and vocals (October 2012–March 2017)


Guest musicians[edit]

  • Roger Wilson: Violin. Roger plays most of the fiddle parts on the Forge and Flagon album, and all fiddle parts on Down on Deptford Broadway and The Devil, The Heart & the Fight. He has occasionally played live with the band on British tours and at festivals
  • Rosco Wuestewald: Drum, mandolin. Rosco has occasionally guested with the band on tours in the USA.
  • Holly Cook: plays penny whistle on Forge and Flagon album, Down on Deptford Broadway and The Devil, The Heart & The Fight]], and has occasionally guested with the band on stage.
  • Kathryn Tickell: Plays Northumbrian smallpipes and fiddle on the track "Seventeen Summers" on the Forge and Flagon album.
  • Martin Cummins plays Northumbrian smallpipes on the track "Carry" on the third album The Devil, The Heart & The Fight
  • Iain Wilson: Plays fiddle on "Plough and Orion" and "Colours" on the Forge and Flagon album
  • Hezi Yechiel: Percussion on "Trawlerman" and "Colours" on the Forge and Flagon album
  • Scott Milsom: Double bass live in early 2017 while Michael Camino was recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon. He later took over full-time when Michael Camino decided to leave the band.
  • James Gulliver: Drums at some European festivals in July and August 2017 while Thom Mills was temporarily unavailable.



  1. "If The Gaff Don't Let Us Down"
  2. "John Kanaka"
  3. "Rollin' Over"
  4. "Trawlerman"
  5. "Peregrine Fly"
  6. "Seventeen Summers"
  7. "Wild As The Wind Blows"
  8. "Forty Pound Wedding"
  9. "Kite Song"
  10. "Polkas (Jenny Lind / Girl In A Blue Dress)"
  11. "Plough & Orion"
  12. "Colours"
  13. "Bonny Away" (iTunes Exclusive)

(Additional tracks on the Deluxe Version)

  1. "Merry Old Dance"
  2. "John Kanaka (Live at the Lexington)"
  3. "Rollin Over (Live at the Lexington"
  4. "Risk" (iTunes Exclusive)
  1. "Raise a Wreck"
  2. "Trouble on Oxford Street"
  3. "George's Glass"
  4. "What can I say?"
  5. "Cathy"
  6. "Six Whiskies"
  7. "This is War"
  8. "Ten Thousand Voices"
  9. "Bonny Away"
  10. "Bold as Brass"
  11. "This City"
  12. "The Dreich"
  1. "Wanted"
  2. "Geordie Lad"
  3. "Tragedy in A Minor"
  4. "Devil in Me"
  5. "Injuries"
  6. "Reunion"
  7. "Beat It From The Chest"
  8. "Hamburg Drunk"
  9. "Grace"
  10. "Charlie"
  11. "Fair Winds And Following Seas"
  12. "Carry"

(Additional tracks on Disc 2 of the Deluxe Version)

  1. "Live Intro"
  2. "Thing Like That"
  3. "Christmas Calls
  4. "Band Chat Roundhouse
  5. "Wanted (Live at London Roundhouse)"
  6. "Hamburg Drunk (Live at London Roundhouse)"
  7. "This is War (Live at London Roundhouse)"
  8. "Band Chat Sessions"
  9. "Injuries (Paste Session)"
  10. "Tragedy in A Minor (Paste Session)"
  11. "Geordie Lad (Xtra Mile Xmrob1 Session)"
  12. "Band Chat Bootlegs"
  13. "John Kanaka (London Scala Bootleg)"
  14. "Cathy" (London Scala Bootleg)"
  15. "Bold as Brass (London Scala Bootleg)"
  16. "Band Chat Boy Ashore"
  17. "Boy Ashore"


  • Plough & Orion (2009)
  • December (2009)
  • Kite Song (2010)
  • Plough & Orion / If The Gaff Don't Let Us Down (2012)
  • Colours / Rollin' Over (2012)
  • Trouble on Oxford Street (2015)
  • Cathy (2015)
  • This is War (2015)
  • This City (2015)
  • Six Whiskies (2015)
  • This Christmas (2015) - Collaboration with Beans On Toast
  • Wanted (2016)
  • Geordie Lad (2016)
  • The Devil in Me (2016)
  • 38 Minutes (2018)
  • The Story Is... (2018)


  • On These Rotten Streets My Best Days Have Been Spent EP (2014)
  1. "John Kanaka (Live)"
  2. "Rollin Over (Live)"
  3. "Merry Old Dance"
  4. "Poor Old Horse"
  5. "Peregrine Fly (Live)"
  • Forty Pound Wedding EP (2012)
  1. "Forty Pound Wedding"
  2. "Seventeen Summers"
  3. "Colours (Psychemagic Mix)"
  4. "Plough and Orion (Sunday Best Mix)"
  • Grand Union EP (2010)
  1. "Rollin' Over"
  2. "Peregrine Fly"
  3. "South Australia"
  4. "Plough & Orion"
  5. "Poor Old Horse"
  • Home Made Tour EP (2010)
  1. "William Harker"
  2. "John Kanaka"
  3. "Trawler Man"
  4. "Kite Song"
  5. "Keep Yer Feet Still Greordie Hinny"
  6. "Farewell To Devon/Tattoo Tale"
  7. "Bye Bye Roseanna"


Several music videos have been made for Skinny Lister songs.

Songs from Forge and Flagon[edit]

  • "If the Gaff Don't Let us Down" - This begins with the band on a beach in winter where they strip down to swimming costumes and swim in the sea before running through the streets of Hastings before finally going into a pub and playing the remainder of the song to an audience, including the Skinny Sisters, who dance and sing along.[32]
  • "Plough and Orion" - This features the band preparing a meal on a trig point at the top of some moorland as a surprise for two recently engaged friends of the band, who are led there by a series of treasure hunt type clues. Towards the end of the video the couple have arrived at the hill top and are eating their candle lit meal while the band Serenade them with the remainder of the song.[33]
  • "Rolling Over" - This features four Land Rovers (one of which contains the band) performing a Maypole dance.[34]
  • "Colours" - This begins with the band and friends (including the Skinny Sisters) boarding a coach and follows the coach's journey through London and out into the countryside. During this journey we see the band singing part of the song at the back of the coach while the other passengers watch. When the coach reaches its destination, an airfield, the band draw lots which Lorna loses. She then changes into a flight suit and crash helmet and is seen to perform a wing walk while the coach passengers watch and applaud[35]
  • "Seventeen Summers" - Arguably the most conventional video to date, this begins with Dan walking into shot at the end of a narrow alleyway where he begins to sing and play the song, joined by the rest of the band and guest musicians as they walk through the streets of Soho before eventually arriving in a square where the Skinny Sisters and others are waltzing in the street.[36]
  • "Forty Pound Wedding" - This has the band performing the song inside their Land Rover where they are joined by Roger Wilson (playing the fiddle), George Thomas (Max and Lorna's father, and the composer of the original song) playing a tin whistle, and finally the Skinny Sisters. The band then perform the final chorus on the roof of the Land Rover after dark, illuminated by the headlights of a semi circle of other Land Rovers.[37]

Songs from Down on Deptford Broadway[edit]

  • "Trouble on Oxford Street" - This video features the band playing the song on Oxford Street, mostly on a Central reservation, but also on the pavement and on a Number 25 bus. Part way through the song Dan collapses to the ground where he is lifted on to a stretcher by the other four male members of the band and carried round the corner to the back entrance of The 100 Club where he and the band complete the song as part of a concert at the club.[38]
  • "Cathy" - This features the band members having a jellied eel eating contest in the Lord Nelson pub in Hastings Old Town.[39]
  • "This is War" - The most straightforward video to date - this is purely live footage shot in Tokyo.[40]
  • "What Can I Say?" - This featured Lorna filmed in a variety of locations around Hastings. In most shots she holds up a piece of paper with one of a number of selected words from the song, in other shots the paper has a question mark. Towards the end of the video she holds up a piece of paper with the word 'sorry' written on it instead. Unlike most of the other videos she does not wear her stage clothes, nor her red shoes, but is dressed in ordinary clothes - at least three separate outfits.[41]
  • "This City" - This video is a collaboration with a Taiko drumming group. The Taiko drummers do not feature on the original recording, but are heard in the video. Listed as "Skinny Lister Vs Kagemusha Taiko" the video focuses on the Taiko group, Kegemusha Taiko from Devon, while a screen behind them shows a sequence of city scenes, mostly of London. Some of these feature individual members of Skinny Lister traveling through them.[42]
  • "Six Whiskeys" - As with "This is War", this is made up of live footage, this time shot in the United States while on tour with Frank Turner. It is in black and white, and mostly in slow motion. Much of it is filmed on a Go Pro (or similar) attached to the various musical instruments. The footage, though edited to fit the music, does not attempt to synchronise the vocals.[43]

Songs from The Devil The Heart & the Fight[edit]

  • "Wanted" - The video is based around footage of paper coming out of a printer. Some of the sheets of paper have lyrics from the song, while others have images including photographs of band members playing live, chord diagrams, and other images relating to the associated lyrics. Some shots are of the paper coming out of the printer, while others pan over the paper spread over the floor. Most of the sung words are matched to a piece of paper with the words on.[44]
  • "Geordie Lad" - There are some boards standing up in the middle of a field, they are red on one side with the words Devil, Heart, and Fight spray painted on them in gold. The camera moves around the boards to reveal members of the band miming to the song on the other side, a different band member at each pass of the camera. At the end there is a shot of the whole band, in the only edit in the video the camera then pulls away to the distance.[45]
  • "The Devil in Me" - The only band member featured is Lorna. She drives a Ford Fiesta to a farmyard where she takes a sledgehammer out of the car's boot and then smashes up the car with it before striding away. Towards the end of the video some of the footage is reversed. We then see Lorna still sitting in the drivers seat of the undamaged car which she then drives back up the drive of the farm.[46]
  • "Injuries" - This video features the band walking among Joshua Trees in the Mojave Desert lip synching to the song, mostly without instruments, though in some shots Dan is seen playing his guitar. Most of the desert scenes are of the whole band, but there are also shots (in black and white) of individual members). The desert scenes are intercut with shots of band members in other settings: Several of the band are seen wandering through a bookshop; Lorna is seen walking along a street eating a burger; Michael crowd surfing with his double bass at the Roxy in Los Angeles; Dan and Lorna on the Tour bus; Sam having a wet shave at a barber; Max sitting alone in a laundrette; and Michael coming out of a shop with a copy of Time Magazine and reading an article about Donald Trump with a look of disgust on his face.[47]
  • "Tragedy in A Minor" - The video is composed of live footage.[48]
  • "Christmas Calls" - This video is filmed in Super 8 and is mostly winter scenes showing the band walking, tobogganing, frolicking, and loading the tour van in the snow. There is also some back stage footage, including a shot of Daniel Heptinstall filming himself in the mirror where we can see that he is using a vintage Super 8 camera rather than a video effect.[49]
  • "Thing Like That" - This video shows Dan in various London locations - a street market, Tube and DLR trains, a railway station, a Wetherspoons, a Cafe and areas of Westminster wearing a Union Jack onesie. Other band members make brief cameo appearances in the background.[50] In an interview with the website Uproxx Daniel is quoted as saying The Union Jack carries many meanings these days, some of them toxic. It was an interesting experiment to see reactions to wearing the flag in such a blatant way in different parts of the city.”[51]
  • "Hamburg Drunk (Live at London Roundhouse)" - The track was recorded at the Roundhouse in London as part of Frank Turner's "Lost Evening's". The video features no footage from this concert, instead featuring the band on stage, back stage and on the road to Hurricane Festival, Southside Festival and Glastonbury Festival which they played on three consecutive days in 2017.[52]

Songs from The Story Is...[edit]

  • "38 Minutes" - This video has the band wearing Hawaiian shirts and playing in an empty room made of breeze blocks and concrete painted white. The lights go out and for most of the video there are orange flashing Emergency lights, including small ones that replace the microphones. For some shots there is also a projection of a digital clock counting down. Other shots feature smoke while others feature debris being blown across the band by a fan.[53]


  • "This Christmas" - A collaboration with Xtra Mile Recordings labelmate Beans On Toast released at Christmas 2015. The video is footage of the band in the recording studio wearing Santa hats, although there are also images of family Christmas photographs - though not stated anywhere, it is implied that these are the band members as children.[55]


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  5. ^ "Skinny Lister - Live Review". Soundblab. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Skinny Lister Release New Single / Homemade Tour | Altsounds.Com News". 12 October 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Liam Gallagher One Of the Hardest Working Artists of 2011". Xfm. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  8. ^ "Time to get the skinny on the 'hardest working band' in Britain". Retrieved 2013-07-24.
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  10. ^ Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Steve Appleford (2012-06-25). "New Found Glory, Yellowcard Stand Up for 'Pop Punks' at Warped Tour | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  12. ^ Nadine Gewehr. "Skinny Lister waren heimlicher Höhepunkt beim Haldern Pop |" (in German). Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - Weekend Wogan, 29/04/2012, Skinny Lister - Weekend Wogan Session". 2012-04-29. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  14. ^ "Skinny Lister". Cardinal Sessions. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  15. ^ "Skinny Lister Hit the Road Supporting Flogging Molly | Folk Radio UK". 2012-12-14. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  16. ^ "Skinny Lister | Schedule |". Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  17. ^ "Skinny Lister Fattens Up Coachella Lineup". NY Social Status. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  18. ^ "News: SKINNY LISTER Debut AA single". 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
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External links[edit]