Grahame Skinner live at the HAC

Posted on Friday 15th May 2015 20:21 by FreckFest

The years rolled back on Friday night when Grahame Skinner brought his acoustic show to the confines of the HAC.

Accompanied by travelling guitar-for-hire Douglas MacIntyre (he’s played alongside Lloyd Cole, as a member of Love And Money and The Bathers, any number, in fact, of slick Scottish pop acts) and armed with his own acoustic guitar, Skin took us on a long, languid journey through one of pop’s more interesting back catalogues.

Beginning the show with a slow-burning take on Tinder, the Hipsway song made famous as the soundtrack to an iconic 80’s lager ad, Skin set his stall out from the off. “I’ve been thinking ‘bout setting the world on fire,” he drawled in that instantly recognisable tenor of his, although in truth it would be a wee while before the HAC was fully warmed up. This would be no quick run through of the hits and back up the road. He weaved in and out of his career, dipping into tracks from the various projects and albums associated with him over 30 years in the business. “This track’s on my latest album. You can buy it in the foyer. Please do and help keep me in Converse.”

                           

 

 

Unsurprisingly, the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for the Hipsway material. Skin knew it too – “Feel free to go to the bar for now, I’ll be playing a hit in a bit…” At least half the band’s album was aired, stripped of its glossy 80’s sheen and sounding fantastic for it. Ask the Lord, The Broken Years and a terrifically laid back Long White Car kept the audience wanting more.

 

There were snippets of Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side and REM’s Losing My Religion before he discarded his guitar and performed The Honeythief exactly as he had done the last time I saw him live (in 1987 with Hipsway in Ayr) – dancing like a loon and hanging off the microphone stand like an angle-poise lamp, all elbows and knees and six foot seven of skinniness.

 

He’s aged incredibly well, his famous collapsed quiff now coloured with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and the cheekbones still as sharp as his wit - he’s a very funny guy (his story of filming a video at Barassie beach was a particular highlight) and it’s likely he’ll be back at some time in the future. Plans are already underway for a full band gig.

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