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. Lorna’s
brother Max Thomas, Sam (mule) Brace and bassist Michael Camino round out the line-up.
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 England’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 English folk music often spells designer beardedtheme
park Americanization, 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 rural English landscape.
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. Galvanized by months of road action they transform traditional and
contemporary influence into a singular sound. See them live and the impression is fortified.