Skints go for broke
FROM Shawaddywaddy to the Stranglers, classical ensembles to brass bands, Looe Music Festival promises something for all next weekend.
Friday night headliners of the Adrenalin Quarry Stage a week today are ska/punk quartet The Skints, no strangers to this neck of the woods, having been regular visitors to Plymouth's White Rabbit.
Playing a family festival in a seaside town is a different prospect from a sweaty punk club in the city, but it's one the band relish.
"We've had a really fun summer," says guitarist Joshua Waters Rudge, whose hard work ethic means that they are on constant tour, "so we're in really high spirits and we're looking forward to getting everyone, all ages dancing and singing.
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"We play reggae, ska, dub, pop, soul, disco, punk – you name it, it's probably in there – but we sort of do it all wrong, in our own way, with our own stamp."
This style has evolved since their inception in East London in 2008, but it was clear from the start that they were on to something.
"We went from playing our local boozer where a Radio 1 producer saw us and got us instant airplay," continues Josh,
"Okay, it was on late-night specialist shows, but we were just 16 – it was before we even knew what we were doing."
The band – also Jamie Kyriades on drums and vocals, Jonathan Doyle on bass and Marcia Richards on vocals, keys, sax, flute and guitar – met as school chums in 2005 at Woodbridge High School.
"Despite the initial vote of confidence we knew we needed to learn our craft – so we just spent all our time constantly playing around London, then started touring the UK pretty much non-stop. More recently we've been touring abroad which is so cool.
"What has been really exciting for us is touring with other bands like Sonic Boom Six, Random Hand and of course Plymouth band Crazy Arm, who are all on the same circuit and have become our mates.
"Plus we are now sharing stages and touring with bands like Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake who were our idols when we were first starting out and we've played major festivals like Reading and Leeds which we could only dream of when we were there as kids."
Success has been achieved on a shoe string.
"The more we learned about how the music industry worked, the less we liked it, so we decided to try to keep all the control we possibly can. So we asked our fans to contribute to the recording of our new album, Part & Parcel.
"We raised the amount required to record and mix the record in just 11 days, which was pretty impressive and hopefully sets the foundation for further releases."
Their growing popularity is due not only to the joyous musical melee they produce, but also the lyrical contact, which makes a connection.
"It's about young people trying to figure things out for themselves," says Josh.
Theirs is the antithesis of the X Factor dream of instant gratification.
"When we were 15 and thinking of a band name, The Skints seemed like a good idea, but now it has become a bit of a curse!"
That said, they're not in it for the money.
"If you go into this looking for fame and fortune, you're only going to lose."