"Skunkhour truly were a band for the ages and we still miss them."
When it comes to genre-breaking bands, Skunkhour stand out from the pack. Their music, burgeoning from the early '90s, fuses jazz, funk and hip hop into a sound still unique in the Australian music scene 23 years later. Tonight would be a celebration of not only their debut self-titled album, but of the band themselves.
Made up of two sets of brothers: singers, Aya and Del Larkin; rhythm section, Michael and Dean Sutherland; and guitarist Warwick Scott, the original members made their way onto the familiar Metro Theatre stage to rapturous applause.
Nowadays, a Sydney Skunkhour gig is a rare gig — with three-and-a-half years since the last one — and despite the lack of performing, they are still tight as a drum.
Playing their debut in order is a treat. From the slow-jam funk of Pullatickin to the fast, fantastic bass line of A Cow And A Pig, the band shows they still have the chops musically and vocally. Aya Larkin prowls the stage, delivering his chill-inducing soaring vocal in Free Man while brother Del (sans the locks of yesteryear) nails the sharp-edged rap lines with aplomb.
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Following a short break, we are treated to a 'best-of' set, including tracks from later Skunkhour. This gives Aya his chance to shine, as he was the sole vocalist after the second album, when the sound became less about the funk. It also gives us a chance to hear songs from Feed, the band's hugely popular follow-up album featuring tracks like Up To Our Necks In It and Sunstone.
The show was punctuated with horns, keys, backing vocals and a general sense of celebration in the crowd, who screamed out the vocals to the tracks in joy and camaraderie.
Murmurs of "There's no one like this anymore..." and "I still remember every word.." were a theme among the patrons, and they're right. Skunkhour truly were a band for the ages and we still miss them. Come back soon and play Feed in full. We will turn up!