Skint and Demoralised - Love, and Other Catastrophes

  by John Clarkson

published: 10 / 12 / 2011

Skint and Demoralised - Love, and Other Catastrophes

Label: Firestation Tower
Format: LP
Classic indie pop recorded with soul giants the Dap Kings on delayed debut album from Yorkshire-based band Skint & Demoralised, which has just been released in a vinyl edition on German labels, Firestation and Destination Pop


Skint & Demoralised‘s first album, 'Love, and Other Catastrophes', has gone through a difficult baptism. It was originally supposed to come out in 2009, but was pulled from their then record label Mercury’s schedules and the band were dropped it after its tracks were heavily leaked online. ‘Love, and Other Catastrophes’ finally came out two years late this summer on the smaller indie label of Hit and Heist Records, upon the same day as its follow-up, ‘This Sporting Life’, and during which time Skint & Demoralised had spilt up and got back together. It has now been released again in a limited vinyl edition of 500 copies, and as the first joint offering of the always beautifully-packaged Berlin-based labels, Firestation and Destination Pop. Despite its awkward inception, ‘Love, and Other Catastrophes’ is an indie pop classic. Its Wakefield-born singer and lyricist Matt Abbott started out his career as a performance poet before meeting Skint & Demoralised’s other member, producer and songwriter MiNI dOG. Abbott’s heavy-accented matter-of-fact tales of love lost and sometimes found have a similar earthiness and poignancy to that of his fellow Yorkshireman, the Wedding Present’s David Gedge. ‘It’s Only Been a Week’ captures the bemused glee of the confirmed bachelor who despite himself has found love (“I was always going to be single/I could drink what I like, think what I like/Go for a dance and mingle/And now I try and kiss your cheek at every opportunity/It’s only been a week/But I guess that is what you do to me”). It, however, ends on a note of aching vulnerability (“I am feeling like I love you and I only hope that it is real”). ‘One Way Traffic’ chronicles the angry hurt and desperation of someone who has decided that the only way to deal with an ex is to wipe her from the memory. His attempts to do so are of course inevitably and spectacularly unsuccessful, but it leaves us with a bleakly hilarious and catchy chorus line in “This song is not about you/It’s definitely not about you/It’s got fuck all to do with you”. As blackly comic and true-to-life as Abbott’s observations are, what stretches ‘Love, and Other Observations’ to the extraordinary are MiNI dOG’s exquisite arrangements. The album was recorded in New York with soul legends Dap Kings, who, as well as being Sharon Jones’s backing band, are otherwise known for their work with Mark Ronson and on Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ album. ‘Failing to See the Attraction’ throws pumping brass into the mix. ‘Withdrawal Symptoms’ about an obsessive love affair (“The thing that makes it harder is that they know that there is simply no choice ”) and ‘A Few Quiet Drinks’ about self-deception and infidelity (“All these girls in their dresses/Nothing more, nothing less/A few quite drinks with my friends”) meanwhile both involve a full orchestra. Romance in Skint & Demoralised‘s world is always devastating, usually ends badly, but on ‘Love, and Other Catastrophes’ it has its own unique rewards.

Track Listing:-

1 Three More Days
2 It's Only Been a Week
3 Red Lipstick
4 One Way Traffic
5 Failing to See the Attraction
6 Withdrawal Symptoms
7 Let's Get Lost
8 The Thrill of Thirty Seconds
9 You Probably Don't Even Realise When You Do the Things I Love the Most
10 Only Lust Ignores Violence Involving Ambulances
11 This Song Is Definitely Not About You
12 A Few Quiet Drinks

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The Bit Between the Teeth (2013)
Socially aware yet upbeat third album from Skint and Demoralised, the project of Wakefield-based poet and musician Matt Abbott
This Sporting Life (2012)

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