One has to feel a little sorry for Matt Abbott aka Skint and Demoralised. Brighton Audio is less than a tenth full, with only about 30 people in attendance. On the drum kit are the words “Major highs, manic lows.” This must surely be one of the lows. However, the band don’t seem to think so. As he finishes the gig, with an undaunted charm Matt tells everyone he has had a considerably better time tonight than his other previous time in Brighton; but that was with football when his team got beaten 2-1.
Starting with a spoken word poem about Blackpool, Skint and Demoralised then launch into a set of skewered guitars and jaunty keyboards, creating cheery sounding indie pop with northern soul reference points. They play debut single The Thrill Of Thirty Seconds early in the set, a spirited tune about the adrenalin rush of young infatuation which is romantic and engaging. But with virtually every song from Red Lipstick to This Song Is Definitely Not About You following a similar formula of spoken word verses and flatly sung choruses, Skint and Demoralised fail to hold the attention. It’s a shame as Matt is a personable floppy fringed lad with a heart who flaunts confidence and humour, chatting to the audience about how he disagrees with being called a northern version of Scouting For Girls by a reviewer, and how getting beaten up in Wakefield is something he’s getting quite good at.
It’s only when Matt drops the music, and stands on a box centre stage without a microphone to deliver an anti racist poem against the British National Party, deconstructing the British way of life, that he truly comes into his own. Maybe this is where his future lies, rather than pop stardom. Unfortunately, Breaking More Waves prediction last year of Skint and Demoralised being one to watch seems just a little misplaced for now.