Skegss was sweaty, messy and totally exhilarating

The outfit had punters in a frenzy when they came to The Croxton.

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Zachary Snowdon Smith

Byron Bay three-piece Skegss released their debut album My Own Mess earlier this year, to a massive reception from old and new fans alike. Their popularity was evident when they sold out most of the stops on their album tour, including their Melbourne shows, which kicked off on Friday night.
The boys had ‘Newtown’s shittest band’ Scabz along for the ride, who started things off with their signature pub-rock sound. The trio, made up of Shaz, Loz and Larz, were the perfect warm-up act, delivering heavy drums, screeching vocals, and thrashing guitars. This was the theme of the night really – that riotous, raucous type of rock, that gets everyone feeling rowdy.
Next up were Chicago five-piece, Twin Peaks. Currently on their own headline tour of Australia as well as playing support for Skegss, the guys kept the energy high. They’d played Northcote Social Club just two nights before, but showed no signs of fatigue as they smashed their way through their setlist. The boys have a distinct rock edge, but a lot of their stuff can sound quite mellow when you’re listening to it at home. However, their live set was a totally different story; with furious head banging, amps cranked up high, and a performance that left them all slick with sweat.
About an hour later the room went black, trap music blared over the speakers, and Skegss took the stage. The bursting venue erupted into whoops and cheers as Benny Reed, Toby Creegan and Jonny Lani took their places, each grinning from ear-to-ear.
They opened with the short and punchy ‘Stop’, sending everyone into a frenzy. The crowd were thrashing around manically, throwing themselves into the music with wild abandon. It had the energy of a small, packed pub gig rather than a large-scale venue, but that’s the thing about Skegss – they’re just out to have some non-flashy, low-maintenance fun.
The boys made their way through the new album, playing tracks ‘Smogged Out’, ‘Infinity’, ‘Paradise’ and, of course, ‘My Own Mess’. For ‘Couch Party’ they brought out flame-painted blow-up couches, sporting the same graphics as a lot of their merch. Jack Irvine, the artist behind the designs, joined them onstage for this one, as well as the girls from Scabz, some of the Twin Peaks boys, and other random friends.
Tearing through ‘Got On My Skateboard’ and ‘L.S.D’, it wasn’t until after ‘New York California’ that onstage madness ensued. Some wasted guy from the crowd jumped up beside Reed, and challenged him to do a shoey. Shoes were kept on, but Reed did agree to a “good old neck off”, chugging back a beer before the guy was taken away, and they got on with the last two songs, ‘Spring Has Sprung’ and ‘Up In The Clouds’.
By the end of the night, the boys and the crowd were drenched with sweat, everyone had screamed themselves hoarse, and people caught up in the mosh were sporting dirty, destroyed shoes [myself included]. But that’s what you get at a Skegss show – messy, sweaty and totally exhilarated.
Highlight: The onstage ‘Couch Party’.
Lowlight: The more aggressive moshers in the crowd. It’s all well and good to get rowdy, but don’t let your fun impede on someone else’s. 
Crowd Favourite: Probably ‘L.S.D’ or ‘Up In The Clouds’.