I’ve been saying it for a while now, there is something in the air, a change, a need to comment, something borne out by the fact that I seem to be receiving more and more music which has a message about the darkness gathering in the world at the moment and the need to push back against it. Music has always been a potent force to inform and energise people, to call to arms like minded folk and to put your thoughts and observations on record for all to see. Some bands make music which counterpunches with rhetoric and rabble rousing, some makes music which examines and debates and some, like Skip, fights back in the sweetest, gentlest way possible an approach which seems to make it all the more powerful in a sort of David and Goliath fort of way.
And whereas most artists advocate a need to combat the problems of the world, Skip instead encourages you to embrace your inner child and follow the instructions in the title and skip! Why? well, because skipping is fun, it reminds us of our formative years, it allows us to forget things for a while and once you learn how to momentarily let go the world doesn’t seem so bad. But also if it raises a smile on one other person, makes someone laugh, even make someone join in then you have made the world a slightly nicer place to be in, if only for a moment and if enough people do that change will come. It is tackling the earths ills through holistic happiness, start anywhere you want, do something no matter how small and you are part of the change.
The song runs on a sort of mix of pop-jazz infectiousness and old-school music hall and the result is wonderful. Scat singing, cascades of piano, brass salvos and the most addictive chorus you have heard in a long time and the important message “war makes you old, skipping keeps you young” resonates throughout. It is a message to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, The Iraq War and every other war and disaster which needs some love and laughter to help those effected to get through.
Sometimes the simplest messages are the most effective, forget the political rants and idealistic raves, those who have the answers and know how to fix society. Sometimes you have to just reduce everything down to its most childlike quality, embrace the simplicity and innocence and just skip through the eye of the storm. It’s sometimes that simple.