Review: Band of Skulls, Southampton Guildhall

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You had to feel for support act Bo Ningen, but it’s rare you get to see such a full-on meltdown on stage.

Things were going well at first for the Japanese acid rockers, but then they suffered microphone problems and stormed off, but not before creating a wall of feedback and flinging their guitars into the drum kit. Shame.

Still, this was Band of Skulls’ night. Playing to their home crowd, the three-piece came on with a stuttering Light of the Morning to milk their arrival, before hitting their stride with a gargantuan take on Himalayan, their current album’s title track.

The hard rocking three-piece were clearly adored by the near full house. Guitarist Russell Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson traded lead vocals to great effect, while Marsden was more than happy to play guitar hero, prowling the front of the stage for his frequent solos.

Their grungey, riff-heavy songs were built for the big stage and the trio, completed by drummer Matt Hayward, looked at home at the cavernous Guildhall.

Finishing after 90 minutes with a bruising Hollywood Bowl, the crowd could have happily taken more – and it would have been well deserved.

They’ve come a long way since their days when they played the local clubs as Fleeing New York.