Skinny Lister is a six piece British folk band, based in London performing mostly original compositions. Started in 2009, the band were a five piece until October 2013 when they added a drummer. They are signed to Xtra Mile Recordings in the UK, Side One Dummy Records in USA. and Uncle Owen Records in Japan. They are managed by Paul Carey of The Music Management and are signed to an investment deal with Imperial Music.
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.
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:
During their first year they put three tracks on iTunes - Plough & Orion, December, and The Kite Song.
During 2010 the band put out a two CD only EP's: 'Grand Union EP' which was recorded on a canal boat as they toured down the Grand Union Canal network and the 'Homemade Tour EP' 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 and less officially by The Evening Standard
Skinny Lister appeared at SXSW beginning of 2012 and then staged a short tour of the USA in April. During this time they auditioned for Side One Dummy 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. The band signed up and appeared playing three times a day much to audience delight and critical acclaim, the Rolling Stone highlighting the band in a review of the tour On return from the USA the band scheduled a number of dates in Germany including Haldern Pop Festival and Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, 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 States, they appeared on Terry Wogan's Sunday morning BBC Radio 2 show
In 2013, Skinny Lister started the year with a tour of Germany in January and then immediately flew to the USA to join Flogging Molly on the first half of ther annual Green17 Tour. The band will also be appearing at SXSW 2013 and played Coachella as well as a number of other major festivals internationally in summer 2013.
Skinny Lister have played a number of music festivals including Glastonbury, Leeds, Isle of Wight, Latitude, Bestival, Camp Bestival, Kendal Calling, Secret Garden Party, Vintage Festival, Friends Of Mine Festival, Festinho, Festibelly, Playgroup, Summer Sundae, Beautiful Days, Leave Me Here Festival, Summer Jam, Leigh Folk Festival, Winterwell Moseley Folk Festival, and End Of The Road Festival.
Their debut album 'Forge & Flagon' was released in June 2012 in the UK and Europe January 2013 in the USA and July 2013 in Japan.
Line up changes and second album -- 2012-15:
During 2012 and 2013 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 is due to be released on 20 April 2015. It was produced by Ted Hutt.
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. Thom made his debut on the Boy George Tour, but Dave 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
On 17 September 2014, stage-right guitar supremo Slim spilled some vodka on a friend's sofa and left the band by mutual consent. He now works as a yoga teacher. He was replaced by his predecessor in the band, Sam "Mule" 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 is due to be 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 20th 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 will play on Flogging Molly's cruise, they will also headline a short tour of the Eastern USA supported by Beans On Toast and Will Varley.
The band was originally a five piece, expanding to a six piece in the Autumn of 2013
Dan Heptinstall - lead vocals, guitar, and stomp box (July 2009-present),
Max Thomas - melodeon, mandolin and vocals (July 2009-present),
Lorna Thomas - vocals (July 2009-present),
Michael Camino - double bass and vocals (October 2012-present),
Thom Mills - drums (March 2014-present),
Sam "Mule" Brace: guitar, concertina, vocals (July 2009- March 2013, September 2014-present) mandolin (2014-present),
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),
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. He occasionally plays live with the band on British tours and at festivals,
Rosco Wuestewald: Drum, mandolin. Rosco regularly guests with the band in the USA.,
Holly Cook: plays penny whistle on the Forge and Flagon album and Down on Deptford Broadway albums, and occasionally guests with the band on stage.,
Kathryn Tickell: Plays Northumbrian smallpipes and fiddle on the track "Seventeen Summers" on the Forge and Flagon album.,
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,
The Skinny Sisters:
The Skinny Sisters are a group of women who sometimes appeared with the band as dancers during 2011 and 2012. There are usually between four and six of them, although membership is not constant. They wear similar cotton print dresses to those worn by Lorna and dance both on-stage and in the audience. Their dancing is not choreographed, but is free form and, when not on stage, mostly takes the form of linking arms with audience members and swinging them round. The Skinny Sisters also appear in some of the band's videos.