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FRONT ROW | SKEGSS @ HOWLER

If there was any doubt with who you were seeing play as you walked into Howler for Skegss third, and final sold out show, it would have been quickly answered with the sea of band tees filling the room. If there is one thing that has to be said about Skegss fans it’s that they are a loyal bunch, and know how to have a good time.

Kicking off the show was a sweaty set from Pist Idiots. It was fun, it was loud. Familiarity was in no way needed to find yourself bobbing your head to their near trashy rock sound. The three piece worked well on stage, with a ferocious energy that was hard not to be engaged by. As their set ended, the energy of the set transferred to a chatty and friendly crowd, drowning out the filler music and speeding up the often tedious wait between sets.

Good Boy showed off experience in an unexpected way. On a lineup that was largely ‘dumb fun’ kind of bands, they played with a precision that far exceeded the type of material they perform. They whipped out retired tracks, and had warm reception to every not, teasing the fact that while they may not be an overly well known name they are a band of importance within the scene. It was here, that something stood out about the lineup. The booking of supports was so ridiculously on brand, that no matter your familiarity with the other two, you only needed to know one of the three acts to be locked in for a good time. Each act had their own identities, yet they felt remarkably like siblings in many ways. As the set came to an end on Good Boy’s iconic Poverty Line it was hard not to have a smile on your face as the room bounced away with joy.

With artfully wooden panelled walls, delicate lighting, and a bit too much of a focus on aesthetic choices for a band room, the award winning design of Howler is exactly the last place you’d expect to see a show like Skegss, but this added to the ridiculous fun of the night. At no other time would finding a urinal full of vomit be worthy of a chuckle, or the thirty seconds delay between set starting and first stage runner be more valuable. Almost oblivious to the context of the show, everyone present was there to have fun and get involved. As Skegss whipped through Mustang, Van Halen and Got On My Skateboard there was a sense of unity in the chaos of the crowd. Everyone bounced and fell together, in a scrappy and messy crowd that highlighted that it was a room of people were simple keen for fun. Skegss themselves were largely focused on the job at hand, pumping one song out after another. Post show, huddled around cigarettes and piles of beers, fans tried to determine exactly what the order was, or noticed the absence of isolated singles. With two EPs to their name, it felt impressive that they could not only pack an hour long set, but to so in a manner that had everyone craving more. The performance ended on the standout single of their Holiday Food EP with Spring Has Sprung ensuring the involvement of everyone present, from those dancing on the couches at the back of the room, to the stage runners and divers security had given up on stopping, to those just happily shuffling along. It was clear why Skegss sold out three shows in Melbourne alone, and how they managed to sell out the entire tour. Sometimes, it isn’t about having the flashiest set up, or the fanciest equipment, the key to success is simple. Just have fun, and that’s exactly what Skegss do.

Ayden Measham-Pywell

Tallest kid at every gig // Questionable dancer at best // twitter/instagram: ayds_on_toast