The Buffalo Skinners
Cease Your Dreaming
Loose Chat Records
It’s Only Folk n Roll, And I Like It!
Judging by the accompanying photo; the Buffalo Skinners must have still been at school the first time I saw them play at the Jumping Hot Club in Gateshead a four or five years ago. I’d been told to arrive early to see them; and I’m glad I did. OK it wasn’t like seeing the Beatles, Sex Pistols or Nirvana in their formative days; and if my memory is correct I remember them looking like The Byrds but sounding like Fairport Convention yet there was something special about them; albeit in a very raw format.
Since that night they have been regular visitors to the area and there was also a memorable set at the SummerTyne Festival in the bright sunshine; when they nearly stole the show.
Jump forward to now and not really knowing what to expect I quickly had a smile on my face listening to opening track We Get Along; a sweet rolling Gipsy-Folk hybrid with a sweet chorus and a really special violin solo, that compliments Kieran Thorpe’s (?) distinctive Yorkshire tones.
What I specifically like about this album is how difficult it is to pigeon-hole the Buffalo Skinners; just when you think they are modern day Folk Rockers – the heart breaking Goodbye To My First Love or Remember Me; they playfully slip in a couple of Indie inspired Alt-Rockers – Monkey On Your Back and Shoes, spring to mind.
The Buffalo Skinners share the lead vocals around and each singer brings their own ‘style’ to the proceedings; without ever over shadowing whoever has gone before or is due to follow; and while the guitar playing throughout has echoes of Richard Thompson the spine of the band is actually Kieran Thorpe’s excellent piano playing and the exquisite violin from James Nicholls.
The songwriting has matured out of all recognition from what I remember of their earlier albums; and they aren’t afraid to use a melody which is like a breath of fresh air around these here parts!
Favourite song? There are two definite contenders – Lost & Gone has a rollicking sing-along feel to it but I will probably stump for the foot stomping Play To Lose which has me tapping my feet every time I hear it and I’ve even tried harmonising (badly) when alone in the car.
Over the last six years they have constantly toured the UK and Europe; visited the USA and released a couple albums that didn’t trouble the chart compilers; but all those cold nights in the back of a van and playing in front of a handful of people on a Tuesday night honing their craft and developing their own distinctive style appears to have paid off; with the release of Cease Your Dreaming.
Release UK July 15th 2016