The concept of staying still doesn’t cross the minds of British trio Sky Larkin. On Thursday, they still hadn’t received their visas to support Blood Red Shoes tour of the U.S. Instead of hanging out in the hotel room worrying, they played the In The City Festival in Manchester, U.K. with bands like Los Angeles’s HEALTH! Fortunately, at the time of this writing, they finally played L.A’s Bootleg Theater on October 18th. They will finish off the remaining dates. I talked with the band by phone before the Manchester gig about touring and the new album Kaleide.
The Leeds trio comprises guitarist/singer Katie Harkin, bassist Doug Adams and drummer Nestor Matthews. Loud, stylish and fun, many journalists compare them to '90s alternative rock bands. But that doesn’t completely describe them. You can check off on quiet verses and loud choruses as well as watery and fuzzy guitars. But they sneak in dance beats and latin music rhythms courtesy of drum-battery Nestor. Synthesizer lines also enter the mix. They have two albums out. The Golden Spike and their newest Kaleide both produced by John Goodmanson (Los Campesinos!, Sleater-Kinney).
The trio constantly zigzags across the U.K and mainland Europe playing gigs with many bands, like Broken Social Scene and Los Campesinos!. In Leeds in November, they’ll play on the same bill with the likes of Sleigh Bells and more. “When a band like Les Savy Fav invites you to tour Europe, you can’t pass it up,” Says Katie.
“I think its great fun mainly,” says Nestor. “We’re lucky to be in this position where we can make a record and go see the world. I think when you’re given the opportunity it’s a bit silly, really, not to do it. We’ve worked hard to get to this point and for us to then say, ‘I’m done now,’ sounds a bit defeatist. If we did that, I think we’d regret it and feel sad about it.
Touring has its lows, but for many bands, it’s addictive like a drug. Does the band think the same?
“When you’re out there it’s amazing,” says Nestor, “Then at some point, I’m thinking about getting home. But then in about six eight hours, I’m raring to go out again. So it is pretty addictive.”
Sky Larkin perform live with the comfort and swagger of a bigger band. Each member shines onstage with more or less equal intensity. Partly this comes from the roughly nine years Katie and Nestor have played music together. Doug has been a member for about four.