WHEN surf-punks Skegss were touring winter-bound Europe earlier this month they discovered a distinct difference between their Australian and international appeal.
While local audiences relate to their tales of skating, surfing and summer partying through first-hand experience, for Europeans, Skegss songs tap into their own Australian fantasy.
“Because we’re over there in the winter time, they described it as imagining it being heaps good over in Australia when they’re listening to the songs,” Skegss guitarist and vocalist Ben Reed said, while enjoying a well-earned break at home in Forster. “That’s how they interpret it.”
Skegss toured with Melbourne punk band Dumb Punts in Europe and revelled in the usual rock’n’roll shenanigans.
The funniest moment came when Dumb Punts frontman Jimmy Gallagher accidentally walked into a canal on a freezing day in Amsterdam.
“He was in shock because of how cold it was,” Reed said. “He got full drenched. He was fully dressed with a big trench coat, so that was pretty funny.”
Skegss will most likely reflect back on 2018 as being one of the most amazing years of their career.
The three-piece of Reed and Byron Bay bandmates Toby Cregan (guitar) and Jonny Lani (drums), saw their debut album Our Own Mess peak at No.2 and tracks like Up In The Clouds and Got On My Skateboard have become festival favourites.
It’s seen Skegss become the latest wave in the surf-punk revival that has also produced Dune Rats and Hockey Dad.
Many have speculated that the back-to-basics brand of music appeals due to a rejection of electronic music, but Reed believes it’s based on community.
“I think that rubs off with the audience because people see that they’re not being a band that’s a bit pretentious or anything.
“All those bands are on the same level as the crowd and like the people at the shows. You could go out with all of them and get along and become mates.”
The growing appeal of Skegss has seen their shows step up in intensity. Two weeks ago they played a triumphant homecoming set at Festival Of The Sun in Port Macquarie and over the summer they’ll join the Laneway Tour.
“Before big shows I used to sometimes trip out and playing festivals I could psych myself out,” Reed said.
“When it’s a small room at a pub and it’s more intimate you can do whatever instead of being on big clear speakers and hearing the faults.
“The more you do it, you feel more comfy. That side of it has gotten better.”