Spotlight on Buxton Bands: Skutch Manos

Share With Friends

Next up in our series of featuring some of Buxton’s best bands, musical talent, locals bands and artists, this week we bring you Skutch Manos.

Their sound as they describe it is a ‘hypnotic clash of classical Spanish and British instrumental acoustic folk’ and they play regularly at various venues in Buxton including Monk cocktail bar and Buxton Tap House and they also play regularly in Manchester and across the country. Their next gig in Buxton is 8th April 2017 at The Green Man Gallery.

1. What’s the line up?

Arlen Connelly – Guitars,

Holly Prest – Percussion

Chris Cliff – Double Bass

Kath Ord – Violin

Aimee Johnson – Viola

2. Who’s the sexiest?

Haha! Erm, when playing? Or when just posing? We’re all spectacularly sexy, we should have formed a pop band, 20 years ago!

3. When and how did the band get together?

I was playing a solo guitar set at Manchester food and drinks festival. I hung around after and a band came on with Holly playing in it, I asked if she wanted to come out and play, she said yes, so we did!

From there we jammed a bit and wrote music. The energy and connection was instant, there was a driving force that seemed to turn everything into this epic climatic controlled rage. Exploring it was fun and playing the first few gigs was mental, the reaction from people was great! Adding Chris on the Double Bass was the icing on the cake, he is a formidable player!

4. What’s your sound?

Hmm, well, no one has ever written the same thing about us, and everyone who approaches us and asks us, or offers their opinion has a slightly varied one.   I mean the instrumentation sounds pretty straight forward, it should be Mediterranean/Spanish eastern european etc, and although it does have those influences, i think there’s a very British feel to it. I was personally heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd etc so i love the embellished, journeyed and extended exploration in composition. Some of our live pieces can go easily over 10 minutes and they are quite methodically crafted rather than being just jammed, though we do enjoy a lot of that on stage too!

Our latest reviews contained descriptions such as ‘Celtic Folk/Flamenco/Jazz/Thrash Rock, so there is a multitude of influences. Holly is a leader in Brazilian percussion so that comes through a lot, Chris is a big funk man and i love the Nick Drake, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Santana, Led Zep guitar styles so there’s a plentyful amount of flavours
in our stew!

5. Smallest gig so far?

3, including the Barman! Every band has done it.  If they haven’t they’re either lying or very lucky!

6. Largest gig so far?

2000 (ish). It was cold, so we kept our coats on. After we started i realised that as a bent my arm to play guitar the tight sleeve on my coat was cutting the blood supply to my hand. This made it a bit tricky as there was no break in the song for me to take off my coat. It was like trying play after sleeping on your arm all night.

7. Weirdest moment?

So so many. A drunk lady sat shouting up at me mid song saying “play something Spanish”. I ignored her so she wrote it down on a piece of paper and shoved it under my nose. I got a bit angry and grabbed it off her. The irony is, we were actually playing our most Spanish sounding song! No pleasing some people!

Another was at a gig in the Lake District where the sound engineer after soundcheck just walked up and said “i’m off now have a good gig”. Very weird!

8. Are you for hire?

Yes we are but we do have a 12 date tour coming up and are playing at the The Green Man Gallery in Buxton on the 8th April with full string section!

We occasionally get asked to play weddings, but only by the brave!

9. Website, CD?

We have just recorded our second album and that should be out hopefully in the next Month or two!

Follow Skutch Manos on Facebook: or you can get in touch for gig bookings via email: