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Live Review: Skunkhour

29 May 2017 | 12:04 pm | Mick Radojkovic

"Ultimately, the night was one of celebration."

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Some albums are the soundtrack of a time in your life, and that can certainly be said for the second album from Sydney's great ska-funk-rock-rap group of the '90s, Skunkhour. Feed was the album that broke them into the Australian and worldwide scene with its mix of slow funk grooves, high energy jams and sun-bleached raps that broke through the grunge wall of the mid '90s.

Treacherous Head started the show after the five members — plus a percussionist and keyboardist — nonchalantly took to the stage to rapturous applause. The show flowed through the 11 tracks on the album, throwing out the ultra smooth Up To Our Necks In It featuring the perfect mix of the Larkin brothers — Del Larkin with his laid-back but perfectly cadenced raps and Aya Larkin's sublime voice soaring in the chorus.

The band were playing better than ever. Dean Sutherland on bass didn't miss a note, holding down the low end with his brother Michael on drums. Many of the tracks depended on this solid back end to drive them, while Warwick Scott's guitar chose the precise moments to dance above it.

The dynamic on stage was one of joyous energy. Aya's impressive flexibility on stage puts the crowd's dancing to shame. There was an underlying positivity about the evening that ran through the themes on the album, and their openness to discuss anxiety is admirable considering the tragic family history of the Larkin brothers (their father took his own life and their older brother, Gavin, founded R U OK? Day and died of lymphoma.)

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Ultimately, the night was one of celebration; of a band that has stood the test of time, an album that stands as an Australian classic and their fans that have loyally stuck by them.

An encore set of tracks from their other three albums showed off the fantastic Breathing Through My Eyes and the rarely heard Chew from follow-up album Chin Chin. The encore of Do You Like It was surely a rhetorical question. The entire crowd were screaming their appreciation for a band that can return any time.