Since the release of their debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, back in 2009, Band Of Skulls has been a name that has excited many through their gritty yet pristine music. Earlier this year, the Southampton based trio released their fourth and latest studio album, By Default, and right now they are embarking on their most exciting tour to date.
Friday October 21st is Manchester’s turn. The Albert Hall is busy hosting a variety of excited fans, who are fidgeting with excitement. The lights fade and the band walk onstage, all with a smile painted across their faces. The guitar of front-man Russell Marsden rings out the beginning of ‘In Love By Default’ and the room lights up, straight away Band Of Skulls and perhaps Manchester’s most beautiful venue connect perfectly. ‘Light Of The Morning’ follows to the delight of fans that have been around since the early days, with tracks such as ‘Himalayan’ and ‘Bodies’ ensuring that the buzz keeps getting bigger.
The band balance the distribution between old and new songs greatly, although it’s clear that pretty much everybody in the room appreciates the produce of By Default just as much as it’s three predecessors. ‘Black Magic’ is both calm yet chaotic, with plenty of limbs flailing around as the set begins to flow. Each member of the band offer plenty of talent, with bassist and fellow vocalist Emma Richardson accompanying Marsden in a fashion that compliments their sound immensely, with tracks such as ‘Patterns’ solidifying this.
‘Brothers And Sisters’ is undoubtedly one of the highlights, bringing forward a moment of simultaneous cohesion between both band and audience, a moment to be cherished at any gig. Throughout the whole gig, and especially this moment, the smile that is spread across the face of Russell Marsden seems indestructible, creating an extremely positive vibe that makes the music even sweeter.
If one thing’s clear, it’s that the Band Of Skulls arsenal is not one to be questioned, as the permanent reaction from the crowd furthers more. The reckless energy of ‘Hoochie Coochie’ keeps momentum levels high whilst there’s no sign of slowing down from the room. The Albert Hall and Manchester, as always, is relentlessly full of life.
‘Death By Diamond And Pearls’ thuds through the floorboards and those bodies stood on it before bringing a brief break as the band leave the stage before returning for their well deserved encore. The crowd feel undoubtedly treated as ‘I Know What I Am’ bellows through the hall before ‘Asleep At The Wheel’ provides the audience with one last chance to let loose, and they oblige.
The job is done, Band Of Skulls leave the stage, and the crowd leaves the venue evidently satisfied.