Skunkhour: Live review | The Northern, Byron Bay | Saturday August 18 2018

It’s amazing what 25 years can do – you can either end up rust-covered and stashed in a box under the stairs or, like Skunkhour, you can emerge undamaged and dust-free, even bigger and better than before.

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of their self-titled album, the eight piece alt-funk legends kicked off their tour to an adoring crowd at The Northern in Byron Bay. From the explosive opening track ‘Pullatickin’, to their final song ‘Sunstone’, the band had the crowd eating out of their hands. Given the smiling faces and rapturous applause, Skunkhour’s joyous energy was contagious.

With precision sound and on-point vocals, the band were on fire. The incredibly talented Dean Sutherland on bass and his brother, Michael, both from the Byron Shire, didn’t miss a beat and the Larkin brothers made the transitions between Del’s hip hop and Aya’s soaring voice seamless.

Given their mesmerising stage presence, every track from ‘Feed’, ‘Up To Our Necks In It’ and ‘State’ had the crowd screaming for more. In fact, between Del’s unique dance moves and Aya’s incredible voice (which if anything sounds better than ever), Skunkhour brought the back room of the Northern to life, proving to their adoring fans that they are without a doubt, one of Australia’s best hip hop, alt-funk bands that have stood the test of time.

Playing two huge sets that ran for almost three hours in total, the band also featured a handful of their best hits, namely ‘Weightlessness’, ‘Echidna’ and ‘Breathing Through My Eyes’, taking us on journey back to the good old days, to a place where Australian hip-hop and funk was only just gaining momentum in dingy clubs with sticky-carpet and $3 beers. Where people actually danced and where music was a hell of a lot more rebellious and anti-government than it is today. Although it was just another night in 2018, the guys from Skunkhour were somehow, through their music, able to create a time and place we all remember fondly.

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