Yet the fact that a few badly hummed notes of I Know What I Am almost always render speedy recognition says plenty about this act’s penchant for infectious hooks and their stealthy commandment of the blues rock revival. In any event, it turns out I’ve been traveling in the wrong circles and I’m about to join an army of zealous devotees at The Corner Hotel for an absolute cracker of a show. Too bad it’s a school night.
From the Sabbath-esque riffage of You’re Not Pretty But You Got It Going On to the slinky guitar tease that is Death By Diamonds And Pearls it’s all glorious, post-modern gold; refreshingly simple, vintage guitar-rock throwbacks to so many bands who’ve done it all before, but often not nearly as well in my humble opinion. There’s a lack of pretension in these tunes that seem written precisely for the type of bluesy metal-tinged party that tonight is turning into.
Unashamedly catchy anthems have a sea of lungs fervently belting out for the likes of Light Of The Morning as Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson engage with their audience as if we’re all old mates. They do this without relying heavily on banter. Instead, in-between harmonies that soar against the overpowering fusillade of drummer Matt Hayward, they lavish warm, deliberate smiles and one-on-one eye-contact on those lucky enough to catch an extra lashing of charisma.
The burly sound is spot on here tonight and the crowd pulses like a single organism, equally as excited for tracks like Patterns off the band’s first album as it is for more recent Himalayan gems like Brothers And Sisters. Marsden tells us we’ve “Lovely singing. Five points. That’s five dollars to share!”.
There’s a lone crowd surfer during The Devil Takes Care Of His Own and Sweet Sour is where the tandem play of Marsden and Richardson’s vocals is tastiest.
Asleep At The Wheel is apparently “The only one where we fuck things up” and there are hugs all round for the goosebump-inducing interlude that is Cold Fame.
You know it’s been a good show when the whole room groans at the words “This’ll be the last one”. And because we’re all such great mates now, we’re treated to an encore where we get to savour the deceptively big sound this humble trio have perfected for a few extra minutes.
So to those who don’t know what a bit deal Band Of Skulls are, it’s alright, it seems they’re doing kinda ok without you.