Dingwalls may be the hardest place to locate in all of Camden but finding out where Skaters hail from is no such ordeal; there are references to New York city everywhere. I guess that when you’re from one of the hippest metropolises in the world – with the noteworthy exception of Hull guitarist Josh Hubbard – you’d better flaunt it, hey?
And they did exactly that with their performance tonight, as they rocked an already rapturous audience into delirium with an exhilarating hour of infectious New York cool. Or so that was the case bar an encore which saw the guys cover The Smiths’ This Charming Man and Nirvana’s Stay Away, the latter executed with hair-raising precision.
Yet this is not a band covering the work of other artists to plug gaps; this is a band whose confidence has rocketed sky-high off the back of their electrifying debut album. Manhattan, of course, provided the bulk of the set. From sublime recent single Miss Teen Massachusetts to lesser known album tracks such as Symptomatic and One Of Us, every minute was a sweat-drenched thrill ride.
Dingwalls would do well to invest in barriers; a solid wooden stage edge at knee level is hardly the height of comfort. That said, the intimacy of the 500 capacity venue was taken full advantage of as one-by-one, industrious teenagers – drunk on Bulmers and high on rock ‘n’ roll – surged forward to make themselves honorary Skaters members. They’d have stayed there all night long had it not been for a lone, snarling security guard intent on quashing the fun.
Heavy-handed crowd control aside, this was a gig at which Skaters issued a defiant warning message to our very own guitar bands: buck your ideas up because the US is on a roll right now, and Skaters are at the forefront of the mini revolution, already belting out indie anthems like the aptly-titled I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How).
Let’s be honest, when have you ever seen a remotely adept dancer at a rock show? Needless to say the only ‘dancing’ taking place here was the same old boisterous moshing that never hides these days, no matter what the genre.
That was just a tiny component of the untold bedlam Skaters served up in London, and if it led to the odd crippled knee, ripped pair of jeans or Red Stripe-soaked top, who cares? Those will all be water under the bridge long before the fully justified hype surrounding Skaters wanes.