Skeezing their way straight out of Oklahoma – Skating Polly descended upon the UK in a much awaited tour last week. Hitting the Hope on what appears to be the first full day of Spring & treating fans to an evening of deep & sultry stage presence. The contrast could not be clearer.
Originally set up by Kelli & Peyton at the respective ages of 9 & 14 the band now embody a persona of bitterness & apathy that can only be ascribed to early adulthood. With a number of decent tracks behind them & having already toured with Babes in Toyland/collabed with Veruca Salt, the release of ‘The Make it All Show’ in 2018 was undoubtedly the album that set them apart.
Adding to their incredible success, many have likened them to the original overlords L7 & Babes in Toyland which ordinarily would be a lazy reference but in this case it’s accurate as hell. It’s important to remember that whilst the band surely take influence from the artists above, they are one of the only bands holding this space at the moment, bringing our beloved grunge roots to a new euphoria inspired audience (well, them & Doja Cat that is). Think Veruca Salt with the soul piercing screams of Kim Shattuck & you’ve got this band nailed.
If Frances Bean had chosen to take up her rightful mantle as grunge goddess & opiate of the alternative masses then you would in fact have Kelli Mayo. Taking the stage with giant red platforms, a Peter Pan dress donated by her friend on arrival to Brighton & a nonchalant but confusingly welcoming demeanour, Mayo embodied a well cultivated stage presence with indescribable finesse. Adding to this, she wasn’t above literally bending over backwards to please fans – a party trick I’d imagine few could pull off without a trip to the hospital 🏩
Alongside her – step sister Peyton brings to the show an innate but gentle strength, concocting a mix of raw talent & the voice of a fucking angel. The band deservedly drives all their power from Ms Bighorse. & with the three swapping instruments several times over – it’s easy to see how they’ve all grown & learnt from each other, with over a decade of band bond behind them.
Whilst drummers tend to get lost in the mix a little at shows (unless you’re one of those fans who like to watch drummers faces because omg hilarious!), it was great to see Kurtis shred the fuck out of the guitar on certain tracks, with a penultimate guitar solo smashed out with his drum sticks still in hand.
Teenage angst has definitely paid off well & this is without a doubt the relaunch of something huge for Skating Polly. As a multi-talented, deeply emphatic band who lyrically give nods to anti-capitalism & the distraught of abusive relationships, you’re left without a question as to why you would have cheap, when Skating Polly fulfil all of your grunge grrrl dreams for free ✨