Observations: Skinny Lister - the folk band that just can't stop playing festivals


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The Independent Culture

It may not match a Grammy or a Brit, but it is still a hard-won prize – royalties-collecting body PRS For Music's award for most performances at festivals. With a good 30 sets to their credit, the 2011 winner is folk outfit Skinny Lister.

Forthcoming album Forge & Flagon gives you a sense of how the London-based five-piece are suited to cutting a long swathe through this green and pleasant land. With a vibrancy somewhere between Steeleye Span and The Dubliners, they update the collectivist singing style of sea shanties while elsewhere reworking morris tunes to fit their own compositions. The record's title comes from a pub run by family friends of singer Lorna Thomas and brother Max (melodeon/mandolin).

Lorna admits they enjoy the festival vibe. "At some sites we actually played more than one set," she explains. "We sing round campfires at three in the morning and we like the smaller, unplugged stages."

'Forge & Flagon' is out on Monday