Latitude 2009

Latitude: Band Of Skulls

Michael Bonner

An early Saturday highlight, for me at any rate, is Band Of Skulls, playing in the Sunrise Arena down in the woods. Such a bucolic setting might seem entirely incongruous for a band who specialize in sinewy, blues rock. And at such an early hour, too, when most people are still digesting their breakfasts. Yet, amazingly, it works.

I suppose it might be something to do with the incredible earthiness of their sound, and it’s primal swagger, that they themselves seem perfectly at home among the trees and soil. What does, in fact, strike me as most incongruous about Band Of Skulls is how deeply their music references a specific kind of American blues – as practised by the White Stripes – that it comes as a shock when singer/guitarist Russell Marsden thanks the crowd in a conspicuously English accent. I was expecting an American drawl.

Still, it’s fantastic stuff – bearded, blonde haired Marsden and his musical partner, singer/bassist Emma Richardson (looking like a young Chrissie Hynde) swapping lines, blasting riffs off each other, thundering their way impressively through their debut album, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey.

Anyway, off to Simon Armitage. This looks to me like another highlight in the making...

Back later.


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