Radar Tip Of The Day 68: The Sundowners

I had a friend who I went to uni with in Chester from nearby Hoylake. My abiding memories of him involve really shit trance music and the fact he used to coat raw chicken in loads of sugar before cooking it.

Anyway, one night I had The Coral’s third album on (the mini album they did) and he came in and said it was his mates’ band.

He was talking about James and Ian Skelly, and added that as kids they used to knock around in the Hoylake pub the Skelly family owned. I distinctly remember him saying that they had loads of brothers, sisters and cousins who all used to do loads of glue and rule the roost around those parts. And years later, that’s proved to be weirdly true. From the baritone scouse warbling of Neville Skelly (cousin, check his ace rain-drenched Eleanor Rigby cover) and Miles ‘lad’ Kane (cousin again), to this lot: The Sundowners.

They’ve got Alfie Skelly (little bro) on lead guitar, and Fiona Skelly (sis) singing. And I’m gonna say I like their tunes better than all the others’ at present.

‘Hummingbird’ reminds me of all kinds of early 90s DIY jangle anthems, as well as Fleetwood Mac and, yes, The Coral (well come on!).

They supported Cats Eyes in London earlier this week, and although I didn’t actually manage to get in and check them out (door staff at the Southbank are a lot more inquisitive than their Barfly counterparts…), my fellow NME scribe Hamish MacBain said he watched their whole set, “so they must be ok”.