Antipodean songwriter Skyscraper Stan is a true believer in the power of words. One sentence, massaged just the right way, can be an entire story in and of itself. “I write songs slowly” he says “I think about everything I put down. Every line I sing, there’s a meaning to it”. Across a career spanning the better part of a decade, two studio albums and countless live performances, he has established himself as one of the most thrilling lyricists working in Australia today. Endless months on the road, “singing for his chips”, observing the lives of people in town and country and putting it all down on paper has sharpened Stan’s songwriting to a fine point.

The Commission Flats, Stan’s longtime collaborators, are equally responsible for the band’s cult following. The distinctive guitar work of Oskar Herbig is as much a part of the sound as Stan’s songwriting. Martin Schilov’s melodic basslines, with influences ranging Stax era soul through to Melbourne post punk, march in lockstep with Andy Lloyd-Russell’s consistently surprising (and endlessly satisfying) work on the drumkit. A more recent addition to the sound - the saxophone of Samuel Boon - peppers the live set with pops, blasts, squeals, growls and hooks.

A typical Commission Flats concert bounces through sonic templates with reckless abandon. As one reviewer said “ is like listening to a very good compilation album of various artists. But the songs all fit together like a puzzle. Just not a puzzle you would want your kids to put together.”

Catch Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats at Smith's Alternative on March 22nd. Doors at 9pm. Tickets on sale now.

Also appearing, Canberra’s favourite special guest, Evan Buckley (of Burley Griffin fame)

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