Band of Skulls - Rock City, Nottingham - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Band of Skulls - Rock City, Nottingham

by Nathan Fidler Rating: Release Date:

It’s a shame that there are so many decent little bars scattered around the Rock City venue in Nottingham, because so many fans of the main acts often wait it out for a drink or two there instead. This means they miss the support act. Sometimes it’s not such a bad thing, not all support bands are worth your time, but it’s just a shame.

The support act for Band of Skulls in Nottingham this mild Tuesday evening was Bones, an act mainly comprised of two female leads. While the lead guitarist riffed and rocked well, the singer came across as a stroppy mum having a bit of a mid-life crisis. What’s most disappointing however, is that the drummer is made to click play at the start of each song, bring pre-recorded bass lines to life.

As the stage was being set for the main act, the venue began to fill. Oddly, the upper balcony wasn’t open, suggesting they knew it wasn’t going to sell out.

By the time the band strut on stage to strobe lighting, the main area has compacted, ready and raring to go. Clad in black, Band of Skulls don’t really have a gimmick, they simply slam the riffs and rhythms as hard as possible.

The set list leans heavily on previous records, with only a handful of tracks from the new album (none of which, it seems, is strong enough to be placed at the tail end of the night). However, thunderous renditions of ‘Death By Diamonds And Pearls’ and ‘Brothers And Sisters’ show that this is a band with power.

The Gothic windows as a backdrop work perfectly, eerily lit at different points to good, simple effect. What’s lacking is a real stage presence. They manage to work the crowd a little, but constantly plead for the crowd to “sing along to the next one”. While a small pocket of dedicated fans are willing to do so, pulsating in a sea of mainly middle-aged men and couples, not many people seem to be quite as au fait with their catalogue as the band think.

It’s possible that the new album hasn’t gone over quite as well, with ‘Black Magic’ and ‘In Love By Default’ some of only a few utilised. But that’s part of the slightly disappointing aspect to the gig. If you love all the of the band’s music, it was a rollicking good time, while for anyone keen to see a band with new tricks, there was little to wow.

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