ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAMEŽ MERCHANDISE & SERVICES
The SKIP RATSColin Mee - (led vox/rhythm guitar)
Ian Rhodes - (lead guitar/back vox)
Mickie Downey - (bass/back vox)
Those "music critics" in the mags call the style of this trio from the North East of England "Roots Music" - the Skip Rats call it, "stuff that's really gettin' ya rockin". Their very special and personal mix of Country, Hillbilly, Rockabilly, Blues, Skiffle and Rock 'n' Roll is just the way the place they come from is: straight forward, sometimes soft, sometimes rough, sometimes wild and sometimes smooth - but always honest.
The way of the Skip Rats' career leads upward - if you ask frontman Colin Mee for the reasons, he shrugs his shoulders and says: We believe in what we're doing. Look's like people appreciate this." Looks like they definitely do - almost every gig in 1997 was sold out! Ever since the first gig of the band back in 1987 at the Excelsior Club in Gateshead/Newcastle, the Skip Rats built up a huge following in whole Europe, and are constant guests on the continent.
It was on occasion of a concert by the Skip Rats in Paris, when a Swiss Indie label took notice of the band, resulting in the release of the first album, "She's My Baby", whose first edition of 1000 pieces sold out within two weeks. Today, (daft) collectors are paying more than $300 for this 10" LP! This release led to the Skip Rats appearance as a support act for Little Richard at the Volkshaus in Zurich/Switzerland. This was not the only show with an American star, in the meantime the band can look back at shows with many U.S. stars fromthe fifties.
BBC or Radio 24, Country Music Radio or DRS III: you won't get around that band! After the releases of CD No. 2 and No. 3 (Move over, Rover/Music To My Ears - Rundell/Germany) and CD No. 4 (Let Your Hair Down, Baby/Raucous) the release of their 5th album, "Sick, Sober And Sorry", (Armadillo Records) marks the zenith of their career so far, and 1998 is going to be the "year of the rat": both the interest of the audience and the media are big. The Skip Rats have been secret stars within the rockin' scene, but now the "normal" audience, sick and tired of souless artificial bands, discovered their rockin' beat for themselves, and today their audience is as mixed as a fancy drink. The Skip Rats are a wild live act, and you can't escape the charm of frontman Colin (especially when you're a girl!)
He's the creative head of the band, and his unmistakeable voice - somewhere between Elvis, Ernest Tubb and James Intvelt - stage personality and Charme did do their bit for the success of the band. He's a typical northerner: lovable and stubborn! He's supported in a professional way by Ian Rhodes on lead guitar, who's playing clear, sharp riffs, without taking the warmth out of the music. The Skip Rats' sound is carried and underlaid with the driving rhythm by the brilliant Mickie Downey on Bass. Drums? Nope, there are none. And believe me - nobody missed them so far!!!
Colin, Ian and Mickie write most of their material themselves, and part of the success receipe of the band isthe continuity. There hasn't been a change in the line-up ever since 1993, and you can hear from the complete sound that his band is in unity.