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Live Review: Band of Skulls, Rescue Rooms (10/12/12)

Coming onstage to the thrilling orchestral flourishes of Paul McCartney’s ‘Live and Let Die’, it’s telling that this Band of Skulls show sold out far in advance of this cold Monday night. 2012 has seen the Southampton trio’s stock skyrocket, supporting the Black Keys on their UK arena tour and securing main stage slots at Reading, Leeds and Coachella, among others.

Opening with the plodding riff to ‘Sweet Sour’, the band treated Rescue Rooms to a set, which sampled equally from both of their full-length albums. The understated yet menacing chug of ‘Patterns’ complemented its dark lyrics every bit as well as it does on record. Sadly though, ‘Fires’ lost some of its magic live, feeling a little too subdued and slow to really shine. Nonetheless, the vocals and harmonies of Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson were impressive, especially on ‘I Know What I Am’ and ‘Hollywood Bowl’.

Unfortunately, the crowd remained stubbornly passive throughout most of the set despite Marsden’s repeated pleas for audience participation. The band only managed to elicit movement towards the end of the set, with the frantic cacophony of ‘You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Goin’ On’. “Elegant dancing”, quipped Marsden to the moshpit that erupted, and which strangely lasted throughout the much more moderately paced ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’.

The two-song encore started with the lead single from their second album, The Devil Takes Care of His Own , and it’s hard to suppress a grin as Marsden kicked into the riff, which came across like a long-lost Jack White creation. The final song of the set, ‘Impossible’, seemed slightly anticlimactic after this – the airy, jangly guitar lines didn’t make for a particularly memorable closer. Despite this, it was a respectably solid set, and what can be said for sure is that we won’t be seeing Band of Skulls playing such small venues for much longer.

Will Gulseven

…Will has been listening to Eric Prydz – Pryda…

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