Skinny Hobos

19 May 2017, the Cabana, Napier

Walking into the Cabana on a Friday night, I was confronted by a bunch of teenagers going hard to the Twisted Zips, a group of local school lads playing covers of their idols (and a tribute to the late Chris Cornell). This young band – really together, good stage presence, talented singer – shows a whole lot of potential, and it was gratifying to witness the support and encouragement given to them by the more seasoned talents of the night.

Next, the epic, very ‘60s sound and vibe of the sex rock era, as an exuberant, long-haired, long-flowing clothed Brendon Thomas and his two pale, thin Vibes dressed in denim took the stage. Brendon’s an amazing guitarist, who plays with ferocious extravagance, jumping around the stage, a mass of hair and limbs, flying to a very tight, impressive percussion and bass duo who hold it all together. With huge energy they poured the love rock out, the man himself urging the crowd to a big group orgasm with his heroic solos and wanting all to feel the love in the room. They built up an electrifying atmosphere and got most people in the room dancing— a pity there was only about 40 people there. C’mon on, Napier!

Then the Auckland-based Skinny Hobos duo, Elvis (guitarist Alex Ferrier) and Texas (drummer Sam Holdom), smashed our ears with epic beats and multi-riffs of pure rock and a dash of the Hendrixesque. They played just amazingly well, offering light-hearted banter and a genuine, down-to-earth decency that was refreshing to be around. They mentioned that it would be great to see the mums of Twisted Zip who were still there rocking out, form a band as well!

As for their music, Skinny Hobos rock, with a real funk and style of their own; gritty, edgy notes, great grunge harmonies and awesome energy. I went home with their album in my pocket and their tunes in my ears. Loved seeing them. Again, pity the size of the crowd, they deserved a much bigger turn-out.

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