Unsigned Band - Skeleton Bob

Why name the band after a bobsleigh vessel?

Feature by Sebourne Jones | 17 Mar 2006
If Evan Dando had learned the banjo and tried his hand at country music, Skeleton Bob would be what it'd sound like. 'It's a shame about Ray' bodes as one of the main reference points for a band whose grasp of Dando's charming innocence stems from youthful afternoons playing acoustic guitars in Thurso's open aired villages. So it comes as no surprise that the most endearing aspect of Skeleton Bob's music is its simplicity. Aching ballads like their EP's opener Heavy Weather open delicately on jangly guitar and gently pick up to an aggressive finale. Lyrically it's saturated with nods to the Bakersfield traditions of California in the late 50s - all westbound trains and whisky bars. In fact it bleeds West Coast traditions, a curious nuance for a band initially from the highlands. But after being brought up on the music of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, it would feel less authentic for them to sing in their natural accents, as this would sound too forced. You can actually picture the four of them chewing their baccy and swinging in their wicker rocking chairs, softly purring their throaty musings with banjo and pedal steel round the ole saloon.

"Our best gigs are the ones where the crowd stay silent, so we can just let the chords ring out. Space is just as important as sound you know," states singer Jody, which quite succinctly describes Skeleton Bob's clinical stamp. Everything is deliberate and sparsely percussed - which lifts the songs gracefully - like finishing off a painting with the white paint, or dotted sparingly with simple two note banjo stabs adding layers of understated depth. Less, it seems, holds significantly more. And each song trucks along leisurely like an old hamlet advert, the unfussy instrumentation accentuating Jody's bubblegum croon, wailing vaguely on about "specific experiences with specific girls." You all know who you are.

But why name the band after a bobsleigh vessel? "Skeleton Bob is a character that we created to give a theme to our album names, like Skeleton Bob and the Stomp, Stomp, Grinds, the name of the band would change on every album. He's actually the fifth member of the band, but we are still waiting for him to turn up!"

A recording session with the Reindeer Section's Marcus McKay is next up in Spring.