The Skints are a band from London, described by Clash Music as "the torchbearers for modern British reggae music." With a sound that has been described as "music from Jamaica in a London style," The Skints mix reggae, ska, dub, punk rock, dancehall, soul, grime and hip-hop, touring extensively across the UK, Europe and the USA. Their album FM (2015) debuted at number 7 on the UK independent chart.
The Skints formed as school friends at Woodbridge High School (London). The band hail from the Leyton/Walthamstow and South Woodford/Woodford areas of northeast London. They settled on the current line-up in May 2007. The Skints relentlessly gigged all over London's punk rock and squat party circuit before venturing out of the M25 to play their first self-booked DIY tour, alongside fellow east Londoners ClayPigeon. The band's early work received some late night/specialist rotation at BBC Radio 1, most noticeably from The Punk Show with Mike Davies.
Do The Dog and first successes:
In 2008 Kev from Do The Dog Records (home to many of the most popular UK based ska bands) signed them after hearing their demo. By the summer of 2008 when they toured with ClayPigeon the band had released their debut 6-track ska-punk/reggae E.P. on Do The Dog Records. Two months later The Skints were offered their first ever major tour, as main support to The King Blues on their second album tour. The tour was extremely successful and allowed them to start making a name for themselves in the UK underground punk scene as well as form firm friendships with members of The King Blues.
Over the next year the band toured with the likes of The Slackers, Sonic Boom Six, The Aggrolites and Random Hand to name a few. They made good friends in particular with Sonic Boom Six and Random Hand with whom they have toured several times. The band played a few festivals in 2009, first being Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds. In July they travelled to the Czech Republic to play Mighty Sounds Festival, their first trip to mainland Europe. By the time August came round the band played a packed out slot at Rebellion festival in Blackpool in front of hundreds of people. Marcia has guested live and in session on various instruments with bands including The King Blues, Goldfinger, Random Hand, Reel Big Fish, Suicide Bid, Sonic Boom Six and Dub producer and engineer Mad Professor.
Live. Breathe. Build. Believe.:
In July 2009 whilst on tour with Random Hand, the band announced on stage at the Underworld in London after asking Sonic Boom Six who were in the audience for permission, that their debut album was going to be released later in the year on Sonic Boom Six's very own Rebel Alliance Recordings. Recorded by Peter Miles, the debut album Live.Breathe.Build.Believe was released on 9 November 2009 and contains 10 tracks (plus one hidden track) mixing reggae, ska and dub with a thrash of hardcore punk rock. The band's first headline UK tour started with a sold out show at Camden Barfly and ended at the annual City Invasion festival. To celebrate and promote their release on Rebel Alliance, the band took part in the first ever Rebel Alliance Tour in January and February 2010 with Random Hand, Chris Murray and Mouthwash who also all had releases on the record label. In January 2010 the band were featured on the BBC Radio 1 Punk Show with Mike Davies.
The Skints left Rebel Alliance Recordings in May 2010 and re-released the album through their publisher, Bomber Music Ltd, in June 2010.
Touring and live shows:
The Skints have time and again proved themselves one of the hardest touring bands in the UK, racking up an average of 150 shows in a year 3 years in a row. A seven-inch picture disc vinyl single, "Up Against The Wall" was released on Seven Inch Records in October 2010, featuring a dub version by prolific dub producer Mad Professor, "Where the Raggaman Go (Mad Professor meets The Skints)."
To date, The Skints have toured in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, and Thailand, both headlining and supporting bands such as Gym Class Heroes, You Me at Six, Easy Star All Stars, Sublime with Rome, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, The Slackers, The Aggrolites, Gogol Bordello, The King Blues and Bedouin Soundclash. In February 2011 The Skints supported American ska punk band Reel Big Fish on their 20th Anniversary tour of Europe and the UK. In October 2011 The Skints were main support to American alternative hip hop band Gym Class Heroes on their UK tour. They opened for British rock band You Me at Six on their UK tour in March 2012, which also had sets played by Mayday Parade and Kids In Glass Houses. They performed on the "Vans Off the Wall" stage at Slamdunk Festival in May 2013.
Part & Parcel:
In April 2011 The Skints started a campaign through Pledgemusic in which fans could financially contribute towards the recording of their new album in return for exclusive rewards such as signed CD's, limited edition T-shirts and the option for the 'pledger' to have their name printed in the album. Although they were given 90 days in which to raise the money needed to record the album, 100% of the money was reached in just 11. In January 2012, The Skints announced the title and release date of the album to be 'Part & Parcel', released officially by Bomber Music on 12 March 2012. The Skints collaborated with British dancehall MC Parly B on the album and it mixed Jamaican styles with pop hooks, grimey raps, filthy basslines and a punk rock work ethic to create a sound familiar with newcomers. It was produced in the summer of 2011 by Mike "Prince Fatty" Pelanconi, a British sound engineer who has worked with a diverse repertoire of artists and labels, from rock musicians like Graham Coxon (of Blur), reggae legends like Gregory Isaacs and Dub Syndicate, The Sugarhill Gang and pop singers such as Lily Allen.
"Distancing itself from the ska punk of old, this is instead a modern day dub, reggae and hip hop-inspired classic" (Part & Parcel album review) - Rock Sound
In October 2012 The Skints did a 10 date tour of the UK, in support of Part & Parcel, selling out pretty much every show and ending at an oversold Scala in London.
Part & Parcel was released in France on 29 January 2013 on Soulbeats Records.
In December 2011 awareness of The Skints grew rapidly due to the release of the music video for their cover of Brit School Singer Katy B's "Katy on a Mission". The video received over 10,000 views on the first day as well as congratulatory social networking posts by Katy B, the song's original producer Benga, and fellow Dubstep musician Skream. Since its release the video's view count rose to over 70,000 within the month due to multiple plays on BBC Radio 1 and heavy sharing on Blogs and Social Networking sites.
The group's 2015 album, FM, reached number 5 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart and number 7 on the Independent Albums Chart in the UK.