Band of Skulls @ Stylus, 20/10/16

Band of Skulls encapsulate everything that is integral to a classic rock and roll band, whilst remaining refreshingly unique. It is therefore no surprise that much anticipation has surrounded their tour since the release of acclaimed fourth album By Default, and what better way to kick it off than in Leeds.

The band opened the set with ‘In Love by Default’, under the ethereal backdrop of what appeared to be lit up Church windows. Even without any prior knowledge of this band, it would be virtually impossible not to become swept up in the atmosphere of the crowd, ignited by that first pluck on the guitar strings. In fact, it seemed that each and every song had an opportunity for a stunning guitar solo, demonstrating the amazing riffs that you can’t help thinking “why didn’t I come up with that?”, particularly with songs such as ‘Sweet Sour’ and ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’.

Band of Skulls worked the crowd impressively as Russel Marsden strutted across the stage showcasing those mad guitar skills, whilst the extremely talented bassist and vocalist Emma Richardson encouraged the audience to clap along to that insatiable rock and roll beat provided by drummer Matt Hayward. Despite having only three members, it should be noted that Band of Skulls are a very loud band (of course meant only in the best way). At one point Russel Marsden joked “we are going to play a quiet song now” before launching into yet another one of their head bangers. The crowd was treated to a range of songs from the band’s 7 year career, including favourites such as ‘The Devil Takes Care of His Own’ and ‘Hoochie Coochie’, whilst showcasing songs from their new album including ‘So Good’ and ‘Black Magic’.

Following this gig it is safe to say that Band of Skulls are still the perfect example of a band equally as good live as they are in the studio. They are certainly not to be missed as expectations are now high after a great start to their new tour.

Phoebe Berman

Image: [Culture Counter Magazine]

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