15 Dec 2018
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Skinny Hobos - Skinny Hobos and Guests @ Ding Dong, Auckland - 20/05/17

21 May 2017 // A review by Sarah Sampson

This was my 2nd night at Ding Dong in a row reviewing bands. Ding Dong Lounge is such a cool little community of creative people! I know it’s been a while since the renovations happened upstairs but I couldn’t help but remember the first time I saw Skinny Hobos at Ding Dong a few years ago when the stage was in the corner. I mention this because Alex brought it up last night. I love the new and improved band room and with Paul behind the desk you are guaranteed an excellent sound! After reviewing Black Metal and ambient metal bands the night before and then these three Rock n Roll, Blues, Grungy Rock bands all with Paul behind the desk, all of the bands sounded amazing! All the levels were spot on, the drums were clear and the vocals all combined to make all seven bands I saw this weekend sound international quality!

The Saturday night at Ding Dong was opened by West Auckland band AnimalHead. Right from before they took the stage the room was packed with people cheering and calling for the band. Everyone was straight into it, the crowd and the band all feeding off each other in a high energy frenzy. It was one of the most active crowds I have ever seen for an opening band which made me take even more notice of this powerful 3 piece. It was my first time seeing AnimalHead but I have heard their name mentioned a few times. Before I got upstairs to the band room I was feeling very fatigued from the previous night’s show but by the end of the first song from AnimalHead my fatigue was gone and I was just as excited and ready to dance like the crowd around me.

AnimalHead are inspired by a lot of different influences and this comes across in their music with not one song being able to be pigeonholed as one particular genre. Watching an AnimalHead set is almost a trip in history of Heavy Rock music with Grunge tones, Jazz, Blues, Heavy Rock boarding on Metal with the heavy drum beats and soaring guitar solos. I loved the drum tones and guitar solos that AnimalHead played, these guys know how to play their instruments and their love and passion shines through. AnimalHead will appeal to anyone who likes any of the sub genres of Rock and Metal and they have the stage presence and attitude to go along with it. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed. Their next show is Winterslam back at Ding Dong on the 16th June, get along!

Auckland band Coridian were up next and I can see why this line-up is playing together straight away as Skinny Hobos are the only band I have seen previously. Again, like AnimalHead, I had heard the name Coridian but last night was my first time watching them. Dity is one of the best Rock frontmen I’ve seen live in a long time – he knows how to work a crowd and is jumping all over the stage right from the first note. I couldn’t help but think to myself that I would love to see what he could do on a bigger stage and I would love to see them perform at The Powerstation or similar venue. Dity had the crowd eating out of his hands and by the end of their set the entire front half of the room is jumping up and down. 

The set that Coridian played last night was a mix of fast Rock, slower Bluesy tunes with Jazz elements and heavier grunge tones. I don’t want to keep drawing similarities with AnimalHead but this is another band that lovers of all heavy music can get into. This show was to celebrate their release of their newest single Reflections which is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Tidal and Deezer with all of these links available on their Facebook page. Reflections is a song that takes the listener on a journey and I loved where it took me. I could relate to most of the songs Coridian performed and my favourites were ReflectionsMilk, Brave Disguise and their last song Blind Faith. Brave Disguise spoke to me the most and while writing this review I’ve already listened to it three times. By the end of their set I was regretting not having checked out their music prior to coming to the show but it is definitely providing me with some amazing music to check already.

Coridian have a few shows coming up get out and support them! They are touring with Wellington band Curlys Jewels in May and June. 26th May they are playing at Lovelands in Wellington (which has already SOLD OUT!) then the 10th of June at the Cabana in Napier and on the 24th June they are playing at Backbeat Bar in Auckland, so get along!

Last, but most definitely not least, was Auckland duo Skinny Hobos. When you think of a musical duo it is very easy to think of acoustic or low key but these are terms that do not apply at all to Skinny Hobos. They experimented with their set last night, playing a set they mentioned they had never played before. They played some of their crowd favourites Jokers and Fools and Merchant of Tirau and but they also mixed it up and the set overall was of a heavier tone. This could have been a risk with the other bands and crowd being more Rockier but I think it was a risk that worked out, I loved it and I wasn’t the only one! By the end of their set the room was absolutely jam packed and there were people standing out the door. I looked around during the last song and even the guys standing around with their arms crossed (which seems to be an Auckland thing) were at least either moving their heads or swaying in time to the music. There wasn’t one person standing still in that room and I’ve only seen this a handful of times this year with the 60 or so bands I’ve seen this year.

Right throughout their set Skinny Hobos had the crowd eating out of their hands and during their slower songs the people right up the front got out their lighters and started swaying their arms back and forwards, during the faster dancier tunes the crowd were all swaying as one and during the heavier bits everyone was head banging as one. It was as if everyone in that room was part of the performance instead of just Alex and Sam on stage. In-between the songs they kept up a steady stream of banter with the crowd and even tried raffling off one of the crowd members, Rodrigo who they did a shout out too who is playing drums in their next video, which I can’t wait to view!

There won’t be anyone that loves rock and grunge music that doesn’t know what happened to Chris Cornell and I’ve read on social media and heard vocalised by a lot of people that there aren’t many people who come close to his range of vocals. Skinny Hobos did a tribute to the great man which started off as a solo by Alex and I got chills and goosebumps while he was singing, it was the closest I’ve heard anyone come to, to emulating such an iconic voice and Alex nailed it! Talking of covers Skinny Hobos ended their set on a cover of Steriogram's Walkie Talkie Man if you have never seen a drummer rap and play drums at the same time it is something that blew my mind! Sam you are a machine to be able to pull that off! I wouldn’t normally talk about bands doing covers and try to focus on their original music as much as possible but these two songs showed their wide range of musical abilities and were both widely different to their usual sound and they absolutely nailed them!

I’ve seen over 60 bands live this year and these three bands, collectively, put on one of the best live shows I’ve attended. They blew a lot of bigger bands I’ve seen out of the water and while I almost felt like I had to drag myself out of the house into the cold dark night, today I am still buzzing with how amazing these bands were. All three put on powerful, high energy performances. Their love for their music shone through and the crowd lapped all of it up. By the end of the three bands I should have been exhausted but I found myself wishing there was a fourth band to play after Skinny Hobos. If you haven’t checked out any of these bands live yet, you won’t be disappointed! Get out and check them out when you get the chance!

 

About Skinny Hobos

Skinny Hobos are a 2-piece Alternative Rock band from Auckland, New Zealand who make far more noise than any two people should!

The Hobos have quickly earned a reputation for being the hardest working band in town. In 2015, they played more shows than there were weeks in the year, as well as recording their debut album at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios with engineer Nick Poortman (Ekko Park, Jason Kerrison).

They finished off the year with a very successful co-headlined North Island tour with Wellington band Bakers Eddy, and they were also featured in the December/January issue of NZ Musician Magazine.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Skinny Hobos

Releases

Skinny Hobos
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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