LIVE: Skating Polly @ The Lock Tavern, 14.06.16

Crammed into the intimate Lock Tavern, the crowd are queuing down the stairs of the venue to just catch a glimpse of one of the most exciting bands around today. Following the hair-whipping ferocity of the awesome Hands Off Gretel, stepsisters Peyton and Kelli – aka Skating Polly – take to the stage as a wave of intense excitement sweeps over the jam-packed crowd.

After a ‘Dave Grohl’ incident last year, which saw Peyton Bighorse end up with a dislocated knee and a torn ligament, the duo are well and truly back in action. Following the success of their latest album The Big Fit, Skating Polly are becoming quite a force in the world of new music, bringing this wave of excitement with them wherever they go. 

And justifiably so. Considering it’s just the two of them, the raucous sound this duo can create is just incredible. As the incessant pounding of drums continues alongside scuzzy bass lines and raw vocals, Skating Polly deliver intense offerings filled with honest emotion and riotous energy.

As Peyton and Kelli repeatedly swap instruments, they race through tracks from The Big Fit, such as their latest single ‘For The View’ and the raw emotion of ‘Oddie Moore’, as well as some of their earlier releases – like ‘Ugly’. Introducing the track, Kelli affirms to the crowd “You should not care whether some dick hole is attracted to you or not”; with this disregard for society’s expectations, Skating Polly deliver an empowering sentiment, uniting not only young girls, but anyone who doesn’t always want to coincide with the confines of society’s limitations.

In addition to their incredible own creations, the duo also manage to fit in an unexpected cover: Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’. Infused with their own unique gritty edge, they pay homage to the track in style, taking us back to the nineties in more ways than one.

Exuding all the energy, excitement and determination I can imagine filling intimate venues such as these at early Riot Grrrl shows, Skating Polly deliver the most extraordinary of sets; the stepsisters give it their absolute all, oozing an unfaltering enthusiasm, fist clenching drive and – most importantly – really awesome songs!

As the set draws to a close, the duo inform us that they’re now playing what would be the ‘encore’, “if there was a backstage”. As a guy from the crowd appears to join them to play drums (I later discovered this was Kliph Scurlock from The Flaming Lips!), the night comes to an end with the unmistakable angst-driven power of ‘Placer’, from 2013’s Lost Wonderfuls.

As more of the crowd join the band on stage to dance along to the last few riotous moments of the set, I’m left in awe of these young women, wishing I could have seen them when I was 16. To have these utterly inspiring young female role models, oozing such confidence and vigour, would have been a wonderful source of motivation. But fifteen years later, I still feel extremely privileged to have seen them in such an intimate venue. Skating Polly are one of the most exciting bands I’ve come across in a long time; it’s reassuring to see these young women going against the grain, standing out from the crowd and simply delivering great music.

The Big Fit is out now.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.