Byron Bay three-piece Skegss are “stoked” to play Groovin’ The Moo (GTM) 2018.
Ben Reed, the band's lead vocalist and guitarist, knew Skegss would probably have a slot at GTM, but hadn’t heard anything about the rest of the line-up. “Then I saw Paul Kelly on it and I was trippin’,” he says.
“I’ll probably be out the front at his set, yeah… he’s one of my all-time favourites. I listen to him more than anyone. Well, probably him and The Eagles.”
The ‘To Her Door’ singer isn't the only act Ben is keen to catch at GTM. “It’s always heaps of fun watching Confidence Man and Baker Boy. And Grinspoon for sure; I’ve never seen them play live,” Ben says.
Skegss were on high rotation over the New Year's festival season, playing sets at Beyond The Valley and Lost Paradise. But the real highlight for the band in 2018 was coming in at #39 on triple j's Hottest 100 with their single 'Got On My Skateboard'.
The song went to air as part of the Hottest 100 countdown when the boys were driving to Port Macquarie for a gig. “It was heaps funny because we had it on the boombox speaker through Johnny’s phone and we couldn’t even listen to it because his Mum kept ringing us, she was so excited,” Ben says.
“And he was like: 'Mum, we’re trying to listen to it!' And he’d hang up, but she’d just call back... I didn’t even think we were going to get in ‘cause so many good bands got in; it was the coolest thing ever, really.”
Skegss’ EP tour last year sold out all but one show and had the trio trekking to regional areas all around the country. Ben, who grew up in Foster in Victoria, says playing rural towns feels like going to a party.
“Whenever bands used to come to town, even if you didn’t like them, you’d go [and watch], just because something was on,” he says.
But the thrill of selling out venues is still “crazy” for the musician. “If there are heaps of people at your own headline show, it kind of shocks you that people are actually paying for tickets just to come watch you,” he says.
Evidently, the lads don’t take themselves too seriously even amid their increasing recognition. One of Ben’s tour highlights was Spaghetti Fest: the under-age festival Skegss organised in Sydney last year.
“[The] Italian Bowl, in Sydney, told us that because we were putting on the fezzy [sic] for the kids, they’d give [spaghetti] to us for free. They donated the best spaghetti I’ve ever had in my life. It was so cool, to pull that off.”
While the group’s easy-going nature hasn’t changed over time, the calibre of their releases is constantly evolving. Skegss’ first full-length effort has been long-anticipated and will feature more diversity and emotion than the boys have previously shown. “[Our songs] mean heaps to us.
“Like, previously, we’d make songs that we’d play that are a bit more quirky, but these ones probably kind of encapsulate our last year... It’s probably the most honest thing we’ve ever made.”
So, does their debut album have a release date? “Not tellin',” Ben jokes, “but it’s gonna be really soon.”
Skegss Tour DatesFri 27 Apr - GTM Wayville @ Adelaide Showground
Sat 28 Apr - GTM Maitland @ Maitland Showground
Sun 29 Apr - GTM Canberra @ University of Canberra
Sat 5 May - GTM Bendigo @ Prince Of Wales Showground
Sun 6 May - GTM Townsville @ Murray Sports Complex
Sat 12 May - GTM Bunbury @ Hay Park