This is an archive of the band profile for Mat Skinner.
Born in the midst of industrial Stockport just before Maggie changed the heartbeat of a nation. His mum fondly remembers him jumping up and down to AC/DC on Top Of The Pops with a red plastic guitar proclaiming "I'm gonna be a rock star", while he remembers being taken on some aural journey when listening to Mozart and the voice of Joni Mitchell reminding him of his Mum's cooking. Music had a strong hold on his life from a young age, he still prickles with excitement at the thought of hearing the blues for the first time 'It made me feel electric, sent shivers down my spine, it made me feel alive. I loved Cream and BB King, listening to that music made me feel connected to my Dad - if it created such an emotion in me, it must make him feel the same - there was a connection.'
'When I was eight years old, Dad gave me the acoustic guitar that Mum had given him on the day they got married.' His eyes water at the memory. 'I wrote my first song on that.'
Summers at folk festivals with Mum invoke memories of real ale and salty seaside air 'I looked at the men with big beards, socks and sandals and thought 'I'm never gonna look like that!' The full beard has been a feature of his laid back style for over seven years now, the socks and sandals have yet to take their grip.
Mat played his first gig in the winter of 1984 in a remembrance day assembly at school, he played Johnny Nash's 'I Can see Clearly Now' and from that day on was hooked on the fear of performance. A skinny, clean shaven youth, he joined punk band Hooker playing bass in sweaty clubs ''I just loved how the music of Led Zeppelin had no boundaries, how powerful it was.'' He had boundless energy, running up and down the stage in a sleeveless t-shirt ''it was an outlet, I had a lot of energy!"
Strange then, that in the same month of joining the punk outfit, he also joined dirty blues band Bone Box and toured the country with them playing harmonica. But the gentler soul in side him took over, he got back into the softer sounds of his childhood, revisiting Leonard Cohen and discovering the likes of Gram Parsons. "I loved how listening to Neil Young made me feel like taking a deep breath". He grew a beard, picked up his old acoustic guitar and started to find a voice..