The Skints bring the groove back to Starlight

Photo by Tanzeel Sayani
Photo by Tanzeel Sayani

Arriving at Starlight Social Club in Waterloo to an intimate crowd of admiring fans, the Skints felt the love as they took the stage to loud cheers, before even picking up their instruments. The Skints, a reggae-ska-punk rock-funk-hip hop fusion band from London, England cannot be contained to one genre of music.

“We began as a ska/punk rock thing and then started to develop as people, as players … It’s cool that we can see the band’s sounds progress,” said Joshua Waters Rudge, guitar and vocals for The Skints.

From song to song, the group seamlessly switched it up from the sun soaked reggae sounds of Jamaica to thrash-your-head-about punk rock. There’s really no equivalent to The Skints’ unique sound.

“To be Skint means to be low on cash!” joked Rudge.

The band opened with their hit single, “This Town,” off their latest album FM, an ode to London, England — the city where the band was formed. From the first chord, the band captivated the crowd, causing everyone to sway and dance under the band’s reggae riffs and fast-paced lyrics.

Despite the cold Canadian winter winds that blew outside the venue, it was as if The Skints transported the audience onto a breezy, palm tree laden beach in Jamaica.

“[Reggae] just works as the foundation of our sound. It’s also our strongest sound with a lot of heritage and roots to it.”

The Skints went on to play old hits including “Rat-at-at,” “Up Against the Wall Riddim” and “Rise Up” off the album Part & Parcel.

Each song they performed seemed to highlight the multi-talented nature of the band. It wasn’t uncommon to have Jamie Kyriakides on vocals and drums, Joshua Waters Rudge on guitar and vocals and Marcia Richards of keyboard and vocals to share the harmony on multiple tracks, adding an intense layer of depth to each song.

Richards, however, held a commanding presence on the stage as she treated the crowd to showings of the alto saxophone and the flute throughout the show, captivating the crowd and adding an element of showmanship I’ve never seen before. For an off the cuff concert, The Skints really made a statement.

“Whenever we get an off day we try to do a headline show and Waterloo was just on the list,” Rudge said.

Despite their genre ambiguity, one thing is clear: when The Skints take the stage they give it their all.

The set ended with the band sweating and praising the Waterloo crowd in front of them. As they got off stage the audience immediately started chanting “three more songs.”

The band returned and gave the crowd what they wanted performing an encore of “This Town” and “Tazer Beam”.

“There’s been incidence in the UK around law enforcement and brutality and we felt a need to talk about it … there’s no place in the world where that song doesn’t have some sort of truth to it,”  Rudge said about “Tazer Beam’s” message.

The concert left everyone happy and dancing.

There was at least one sound throughout the night that made every audience member tap their foot uncontrollably.

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