Live Review: Band of Skulls

QMU – 24/3

band of skulls

Promoting their new album Himalayan released in March this year, Band of Skulls play to a sold out show at the QMU. Their alternative garage rock sound has brought the band a lot of success, enough to captivate a vast audience but still maintain an off-beat attendance on the music scene.

Anyone suffering a blackout from the epically invasive light display that introduces the band are led back by the crunching guitars and smooth vocals of the funk-rock ‘Asleep at the Wheel,’ and are suspended in a mesmerised state by the effortlessness of their execution until the band take a break to talk to the crowd.

There isn’t much interaction, but the brooding front-man Russell Marsden (guitar/vocals) manages to give enough to the crowd to create a very intimate presence; yet still maintains his mysterious edge. Midway through the set they play us their newest single ‘Nightmares’ off Himalayan. There isn’t much crowd participation but their playing is tight – matching the skill and perfection of their bigger hits – and secures an approving cheer. Playing songs off their 2011 album Sweet Sour, like ‘Devil Takes Care of His Own,’ pleased the crowd and the energetic response of the fans was electric.

Band of Skulls put on a strikingly faultless show and had the audience, old and young, belting out the choruses, especially on the inevitable encore of ‘Sweet Sour.’ As Marsden begins to walk off, Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) and Matt Hayward (drums) linger, then the band begins what seems like an impromptu decisions to play ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls.’ Band of Skulls lived up to their reputation as being a formidable live act, despite the new songs not having captivated the audience quite like their older songs.

[Suzannah Helena]

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