As soon as you walked into The Enmore Theatre on Sunday night, you could instantly tell the type of band that was about to play.
There was a mix of ages, many in their early-to-mid-twenties, but also a lot of 16 year olds. This was also reflected in the attire. Many of those in their twenties dressed for comfort, with the younger people dressed for summer in Greece, or Friday night at Ivy. Puffs of smoke were popping up here and there, and people were already on shoulders before the support acts even started.
On the supporting acts, both were great. Notably, it was Totty frontwoman Kelly’s birthday, so the crowd sang her ‘Happy Birthday’ (really badly). She gave us the truly inspirational message: “You do you, and you… do it!”.
It was a bit of a wait for the main act to come on, but as the smell of double blacks and marijuana started to fill the air, we knew it was almost time for Skegss. After a few rounds of the infamous “Heeeeey, Heeey Baby, OOH AAH” chant, the opening to ‘Escape’ (The Pina Colada Song) overtook. I love that Skegss walked in to this song, as it set such a chilled vibe for their set. From the first bass drum kick they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
It’s so refreshing to see bands who are stoked about their live set. I find this is usually the way with lesser-known acts, because they haven’t become big-headed about themselves yet. Skegss was no exception. Between almost every song, Toby or Ben would exclaim something along the lines of “Thanks a lot, it’s so F*^king crazy that we’re even allowed to play here”. Enmore is the biggest live show they’ve played yet, and they almost sold out two nights! In contrast, I’ve seen acts who made the audience feel that we were blessed to be at their concert and should feel very privileged by their presence. In my opinion, all this does is make you not want to be there.
Skegss had just the right amount of filler (possibly a little on the light side). This meant that they got through a lot of songs in their 1hour 10 minute set - 17 in fact. This was great, because it meant that they got through a majority of their material.
The first three songs consisted of arguably their most popular bangers, ‘Spring Has Sprung’, ‘Infinity’ and ‘Smogged Out’. Not that we needed it, but this mix of songs really got everyone out of any Sunday night funk. The middle of the set consisted of equally great energy, with a new unreleased song (and the announcement of a new album in the works), and a mate joining them onstage to play guitar. Their last three songs were equally as punchy, going out with ‘Skateboard’, ‘Up in the Clouds’ and ‘L.S.D’.
I think the only thing I could fault in Skegss’ set would be their guitar changeovers and tuning issues. Being multitalented, Toby and Ben often changed up who played which guitar and who sang. This was awesome to see, but made for some technical issues with mic stands having to be readjusted, guitars re-tuned and leads getting tangled. However, I'm totally willing to let this slide because Skegss handled these issues like champs, at one point getting creative and encouraging the whole crowd to crouch on the floor (while leads got changed over) and then burst up when the song started.
In terms of the actual concert experience, if I were playing the role of ‘concerned mother’, I’d have major problems. Skegss had a wide range of people in their audience, and every few minutes the crowd would part and a group of tiny, overwhelmed girls would emerge, often one or two crying hysterically. I also saw this happen with guys. There seemed to be a new kind of game (that I hadn’t come across before) where people take off their shoes and hurl them as high as possible into the air, and just hope they come back down somewhere near them. Unfortunately, this was almost never the case, and instead the shoes end up injuring some other innocent concertgoer. Also, while I’m into getting onto people’s shoulders, and all about people attempting to crowdsurf, this concert seemed to fuse the two in a dangerous way. People were quite literally launching themselves off other people's shoulders, onto unassuming crowd members - again, usually to their detriment. A few times Skegss even had to stop their set to remind the crowd not to leave people who have fallen over on the ground. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I was VERY happy to hang closer to the middle/back of the GA section.
Overall, I felt I was probably at the older end of this concert, and I do generally dislike under 18’s at concerts. At the same time I remember being that age, so I can appreciate that it’s annoying to have to wait to be 18 to see your favourite bands. Skegss were awesome though, and made the somewhat treacherous crowd totally worth it.