Band of Skulls, HMV Forum, London
Thursday 14 October 2010
When you forget where you are, you know you've been touring too hard and too long. "We're Band of Skulls, and you are... the Forum?" says frontman Russell Marsden nonchalantly, as he casually sweeps his long blonde hair out of his eyes. The momentary doubt never reaches confusion; this trio is far too rock'n'roll for that.
In a uniform of black T-shirts, jeans and cowboy boots, the band enters to Sam Cooke's "A change is gonna come". Success has been "a long time coming" for the Southampton band who met at school and college, and started life as notable bar-room band Fleeing New York in the early 2000s.
The debut album as Band of Skulls, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, may be more than a year old but "Patterns" kicks off the set as fresh as a hard-rockin' daisy.
Glam bassist, vocalist and frontwoman Emma Richardson leans back sexily into her bass as she leads the Pixies-esque opener, before the band launch into the driving riffs of "Friends".
Silhouetted against blinding lights fit for a headline slot at Reading, it's clear from the very beginning that it's not just the rigging that would do well in such a setting.
Infused with 1960s garage-rock guitar solos and mixed with a pounding backbone of drums from Matthew Hayward, it's no wonder Jack White invited the band to open for The Dead Weather's London gig earlier this year.
"Fires" showcases the trio's assets (Marsden and Richardson's vocals make a powerful combination) and the crowd erupt for radio favourite "Death by Diamonds and Pearls", eliciting a rare grin from Marsden.
There's a danger they've peaked too soon, especially as slower, less compelling tracks such as "Honest" then take centre stage. But it's not long before the thundering blues-rock single "I Know What I Am", followed by the mighty roar of "Hollywood Bowl"; Band of Skulls is on a roll – and there's a lot more to come.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West