This year marked indie rock group Band of Skulls reaching their 15th year and tonight at the Brudenell they celebrate the tenth anniversary since the release of their debut album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. Featuring some of their most iconic songs including ‘I know what I am’ and ‘Cold Fame’, the album’s success saw tracks selected to feature in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and the soundtracks of Friday Night Lights and the Twilight Saga (unashamedly the latter is how I discovered them).
Supporting them throughout the anniversary tour are Higher Peaks, a band who just last week released their song ‘Sick’n’Tired’ featuring Band of Skulls. Though the differing styles of each song make their genre difficult to pin point, the atmosphere created through their use of synthesised piano organs and harmonising vocals mixed with their occasional heavy riffs feels new and fresh.
As the room fills up for the sold out night, the lights dim. Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds are Forever’ exudes and the room begins to sparkle as light refracts from the disco ball above the stage. Russell Marsden (vocals and guitar), Emma Richardson (bass and guitar) and Julian Dorio (drums) enter the stage as crowd anticipation peaks. The band open with the heavy riffs of ‘Love is all you Love’, the titular track from their latest album released earlier this year and after two songs Marsden declares, “Happy birthday!” to Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, kick starting the anniversary celebrations before playing the album start to finish.
Hyde Park’s gem, the Brudenell, has been home to some of Leeds’ most iconic gigs. It’s the ideal venue for both immensity and intimacy and nowhere does this show more than when Marsden and Richardson ditch their electrics for acoustics and share a microphone. The crowd, full of fans, simmers down from their excitable sing-along state to listen to the delicate melodies and harmonies of ‘Hometowns’ and ‘Honest’ before the room roars back into movement.
This tour is homage to the fans, a thank you for supporting them over the last decade and the crowd certainly revel in it; as do the band. The night ends with an encore that sees Marsden and Richardson engulfed into a circle of jumping fans, all singing into the microphones; band and fans as one.