Lowlife by SkintandDemoralised
Emerging from the seaside town of Wakefield, Yorkshire lad Matt Abbott of Skint & Demoralised brings us a new double album titled This Sporting Life to be released on March 12th. Originally a poet, Matt started his journey performing stand-up poetry at gigs, telling the tales of tragic nights on the town and a life in Yorkshire. He soon turned his hand to writing lyrics after being approached by producer MiNI dOG via Myspace. He began putting his poems to backing tracks created by MiNI dOG and this was the birth of Skint and Demoralised. Originally they planned to release a limited edition single on Stiff Records, but instead took up the offer to sign with Mercury Records and were whisked to New York’s Daptone studios to record their debut album Love And Other Catastrophes in June 2008. The album gained critical acclaim, landing them plenty of radio airplay and they gained such accolades as Q’s Next Big Thing, The Guardian’s 'New Band of the Day', and had Red Lipstick chosen as Sarah Cox's "Weekend Anthem".
Despite this success, things didn’t work out as planned and their eventual split with Mercury Records plays a large part in the story behind This Sporting Life. The new album is a 2CD Bonus edition including Love and Other Catastrophes and was written and recorded at MiNI dOG's home studio in Sheffield under the new Kent-based label, Heist or Hit records. The band now consists of Matt and his closest friends from Sheffield. The album tells the tale of a difficult few months, but the frustrated tone of the lyrics is counterbalanced by jangly guitars and an upbeat tempo. They’ve created a style similar to the previous album by keeping that northern soul beat that they capture so perfectly. The greatest evolution between the last album and the current effort comes from Matt, who has now stepped up to become singer and front man rather performing spoken word over MiNI dOG's backing tracks as in Love and Other Catastrophes. The title is of the new album is taken from the 60’s kitchen-sink film ‘This Sporting Life’ appropriately based in Wakefield. Such films captivated Matt and influences the whole album with videos for demo tracks being made from stills from similar movies like ‘Trainspotting, A Taste of Honey and Amélie.’ You can also hear the 60’s influences from Abbot's lyrical idols such as Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash throughout the album especially when listening to ‘Maria, Full of Grace’. The band's love of The Pogues was the influence behind ‘The Lonely Hearts of England’ and ‘All The Rest Is Propaganda’ is a famous quote from Alan Sillitoe’s novel ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’.
Abbot tells the story of his journey in a very honest, sometimes humorous, retro style. The album focuses on romance and capturing the vulnerabilities and joys of a new relationship. He also touches on social politics as he is a keen supporter of the non-profit Love Music Hate Racism movement. He titled the piece 'Nazis on the Doorstep' criticising the basis of the British National Party's policies. The album shows the band's growth and the general struggles of young working class people which Matt’s Yorkshire accent compliments perfectly, playing a part to that nitty-gritty British feel. His lyrics are easy to relate to, at times touching and leave you feeling a slight sense of nostalgia. There is plenty of brilliant material to ensure their live shows will be worth going to see.
Listen to A Sporting Life ahead of its March 12th release here: http://soundcloud.com/heistorhitrecords/sets/skint-demoralised-this/s-lb6zs
by Holly Moore