One great things about being a music lover is discovering a great band and following them as they grow and achieve the success you, as a true fan, have always hoped they would. That’s how I feel about Band of Skulls.
I’ve been a huge Band of Skulls fan ever since a friend of mine turned me onto their debut album Baby Darling Dollface Honey. The raw, free and fun feel of the album drew me in immediately and had me hooked for life. Emma Richardson’s bass lines in particular drew me in, alternately simple and complex but always perfectly complimentary to the rockin’ riffs provided by Russell Marsden. Seeing the band perform live at the Garrison here in Toronto will always go down as one of the coolest live music experiences of my life. I knew I would never be able to see this band in such a small venue again, especially since their set list consisted almost solely of songs from my latest favorite record. And I was right.
On the heels of BDDH came the band’s more mature and dark sophomore effort Sweet Sour, that still retained the sing-a-long harmonies from Marsden and Richardson, along with darker and more sinister beats by drummer Matt Hayward. A near perfect hybrid of the first albums, their latest Himalayan is as complex as it is fun and exciting. And it translated perfectly live at the band’s latest show in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.
As a Band of Skulls super fan, I was thrilled not only that they were still playing relatively intimate venues, but that intense world touring and playing high profile festivals had served to only improve their live show, making it tighter and and polished in parts while still maintaining the fun loving and energetic vibe that drew me in from the get go. The band played a perfect mix of songs from all three albums; “I know What I Am” covered early on in the set, raising excitement and energy levels to a new high. The deep and sexy “You’re not pretty but you’ve got it goin’ on” had hips swaying and the absolutely infectious “Hootchie Coochie” had the room shaking from the force of its fill of dancing bodies. The show closed with “Hollywood Bowl,” a fantastic catch and return duet that Richardson and Marsden nailed, blowing the crowd away. Only moments passed before the band returned to the stage for an encore of fan favorites, starting with “Sweet Sour”, and wrapping “Diamonds and pearls,” its memorable lyrics, pounding rhythms and catchy riffs completely irresistible.
If watching this fantastic performance wasn’t enough, I also had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Russell Marsden. Take a listen below, and hear all about the band’s evolution and experience in between my extreme fangirly geek outs.
And check out pics from their Toronto show below, and see the essence of rock in photographic form.