Band of Skulls delivered a thrilling performance at the Albert Hall in Manchester.
The three-piece rock band from Southampton performed at the beautiful iconic venue, having stepped out on tour after the release of their well received fourth studio album in May.
Built as a Methodist Central Hall in 1910, the Neo-Baroque, Gothic architecture of the Albert Hall is visually striking, with large church-style windows, make for a stunning backdrop for the gig. The stage is set up with imagery of three church style windows that matched the venue so aptly it seems an unlikely coincidence. However, their new album ‘By Default’, was written in a Church in their home town and features as the artwork for the album cover, predominately the most influential aspect of the record and the likely inspiration behind the stage set up. Also a likely reason they chose to perform at this venue on their tour, allowing the tracks from this new album to be heard as they were intended.
Musically, Band of Skulls perform well, opening with a track from the new album, ‘In Love by Default’. Russell and Emma both having impressive, powerful, harmonic vocals, producing heavy guitar riffs and exuding lots of energy while jumping around the stage. Matt, the drummer puts on what appears to be an effortless performance, as his hands danced around the drums as he kept a perfect rhythm. They’re clearly talented musicians that sound very much like a rock band, but have such a friendly demeanour on stage it would be easy think them shy when not performing.
They are joined on this tour by support band Bones, a two-piece energetic rock band from London have been very busy since they started out in 2014. Including co-writing Jeff Beck’s new album ‘Loud Hailer’ and currently touring with him as well as Band of Skulls. Earlier in the year they did a European tour with Skunk Anansie which helped launch them into the lime-light. They were deservedly well received by the Band of Skulls crowd and created the perfect atmosphere to open the show.
The audience split into two types of spectators, those in the standing area dancing around with drinks in hand, throwing their arms in the air and singing along as they enjoyed the music and the other half, balcony spectators, who for the most part chose to sit and watch quietly. All of which appear to be thoroughly enjoying the gig.
Ultimately, a great well-rounded performance. They performed some wonderful instrumental sections within their set to break up the tracks which added to the overall chilled vibe of the evening. There was a nice mix between heavy rock tracks and the more mellow of their library. Choosing to play three of their most popular songs after the encore, ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’, ‘I know what I am’ and ‘Asleep at the Wheel’, which was clearly a pleasure for the audience as very few left before the end.
This band are continuing to strive and put on an enviable performance worthy of a listen. It is clear to see why their reputation as a great British rock band is growing and how they are now able to pack out larger venues.