Band of Skulls

It’s all coming together for Band of Skulls with massive radio play, healthy album sales and a sell-out tour, it certainly seems that they’re poised to become the UK’s most bona fide Blues act. Dubbed as a “Blues/Rock Outfit” and fresh off the UK leg of The Black Keys Tour it was no surprise that there were a few ‘Keys’ T-shirts in the crowd of Band of Skulls’ gig at the Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton.

Band of SkullsBand of Skulls

Their reception was one more of curiosity than reverence. The mixed crowd of young/old/male/female/old rockers/dolly-birds in heels/couples/kids received the band with a reserved clap and sober cheer. The three piece from Southampton opened the show with ‘Sweet Sour’ the title track from their newly released second album which has been three years in the making, but in the initial strained atmosphere it felt like a sea of judging eyes stared up at the band withholding their verdict and applause for the time being.

Band of Skulls

Considering the band appeared to be completely off the UK’s musical radar just a few months ago its probable that this was the first Band of Skulls live performance the majority of the crowd would have experienced. This might be the reason that only 7 of the 18 songs played were from their new album. Perhaps the set list falling heavily on their first album reflects a choice towards safety in material perfected live over the last 4 years. From the off the band looked nervous and a little rigid, although by the time they hit their new single ‘Bruises’ they at least gave the impression of being more at home on stage and finally about half way through the set looked like they were enjoying themselves, particularly Russell who grew in confidence every time the crowd cheered their approval. As the band relaxed, so did the atmosphere. When Band of Skulls get into their stride they ooze authority and are a pleasure to behold.

Band of Skulls

Predictably ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’ and The Devil Takes Care of His Own’ (played as an encore) were massive crowd pleasers. My own highlights were the ghostly country-esque ‘Lay My Head Down’ and ‘Blood’ which epitomizes classic rock and with Emma’s vocal sounds scarily like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Band of Skulls are ultimately musicians and song writers which doesn’t automatically make them stage illuminating, audience manipulating virtuosos. They perform their material with skill and have an undeniable connection between them that makes their performance seem effortless. Should you go and catch them live if you can? Definitely.

Band of Skulls

The bands seductive cocktail of blues, garage rock, thumping drums, sleazy riffs and the combination of Russell and Emma’s vocals make them on of the most interesting band to come out of Blighty for quite some time.

Set List: Sweet sour
 / Lies / 
Patterns / 
Fires / 
Bruises / 
Wanderluster / 
Cold fame / 
Bomb / 
Blood / 
Lay my Head Down / 
You’re not Pretty but you Got it Goin’ On / Hollywood / 
Dull Gold Heart / 
I Know what I am / 
Light of The Morning / 
Death by Diamonds and Pearls / 
The Devil Takes Care of His Own / 

Band of Skulls Gig Review by Cherry Barrett
Band of Skulls Photos by Bianca Barrett

2 Responses to “Band of Skulls @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK – 2nd March 2012”

  1. Wayne Fox Says:

    Phwoar… love this guys! :o)

  2. john bentley Says:

    Great pics, Bianca.

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