Skaters @ Oslo, London, 12/05/2016

SkatersI only heard about SKATERS a week ago. How I’ve managed to escape them so far, I have no idea. As this show makes abundantly clear, I’m in a minority. Not only have they pack out the upstairs of Hackney’s Oslo, but the crowd they’ve drawn in are half way to being completely hysterical.

SKATERS aren’t about time wasting. They power through their set, one rock hit after another, barely pausing for breath. There’s none of the slightly awkward, tune up chat that’s usually so commonplace during live shows, and in all honesty it’s very refreshing. The band know exactly what the audience want, and they absolutely deliver.

They kick-start proceedings with their single "Mental Case" – a crowd pleaser. Within 30 seconds, pits have formed and the punters have all become human battering rams. It’s a fantastic atmosphere – unless you’re a photographer. The Oslo’s version of a photo pit is a thin strip of duck tape placed about a foot away from the stage, which the audience (obviously) pay no attention to whatsoever. It turns out that over-excited, drunk teenagers and expensive camera equipment aren’t a good mix.

Things escalate when we arrive at their latest EP’s title track – Rock and Roll Bye Bye. It’s the 'last song' of the set (it isn’t really) and the crowd are acting like it’s the last song they’ll ever hear. On record, it’s slow and steady; almost sedate. Played live, it becomes something entirely different. It’s energetic, intense and sends a fresh wave of momentum through the room.

The band do the classic ‘we’re leaving now…oh no wait’ stunt at the end of their set, but with a twist. This is the moment when they hit us with the new stuff. In true SKATERS fashion, the new songs are short, sharp and punchy.

The EP Rock and Roll Bye Bye is out now, but given the number of fans this band have, you probably already knew that.


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