Following in the legendary steps of AC/DC, The Angels and Cold Chisel, Band of Skulls ventured to The Croxton Bandroom in Thornbury to play the very first show of their 2016 Australian tour.
Opening were From Oslo. Their sound altered between heavy metal and grunge as both guitarist, Josh De Laurentiis, and drummer, Joel Penmanook, took to the microphone. Albeit a two-piece, they were arguably the loudest and heaviest performance of the night. This could be due to each competing to have the louder instrument, with De Laurentiis likening it to the Ouroboros; the serpent that eats its own tail.
The Pretty Littles have the sort of youthful rebellion and sporadic energy prominent in the likes of Dune Rats and Drunk Mums. Wide-eyed frontman Jack Parsons is a right character. He drew the crowd in with his matter-of-fact wit in-between songs. Not known to shy from rolling around on the floor amongst the crowd, I’d say it were the ostentatious barriers making for a more subdued set (there were still tousled locks of hair, limbs and detached guitar straps flying about though).
“Good Evening, we are Band of Skulls from Southampton” were the politely spoken first words from singer and guitarist Russell Marsden after jumping straight into a set of sharp blues-y rock and roll. My focus was mainly on Marsden – he was directly in front and, at times, above me doing all his striking rock and roll moves that the crowd absolutely adored. He even impressively kept his focus when a fan, who perhaps had one too many shandies, began to seductively stroke his guitar. He and vocalist / bassist Emma Richardson effortlessly bounced back and forth with the vocals, occasionally merging their singular impressive rock and roll moves together. After a strong catalogue of songs and a few bashful ‘thank you’s’, the band were gone. The sound bloke even went through the stride of halfheartedly unplugging a guitar from an amp before the band sheepishly returned to the stage for an encore. It may / may not have been printed on the set list, although, I like to believe the trio folded to our desperate cries for one more song.
Written by Laura Cheshire