Getting to Australia in 2015 has been a rocky road for Band of Skulls, what with their lift The Black Keys having to cancel their Bluesfest shows due to injury. Luckily, being the overachievers they are – their last album Himalayan is testament to this – Band of Skulls had already planned some more intimate festivities with those trapped in the concrete jungle of Melbourne. And so, come the 7th of April, where fans of most bands would have to do with sitting at home blasting their discography at twice the volume, fans of Band of Skulls (who should definitely be referred to as ‘Skullies’) found themselves packing the hall of The Corner for some rock so hard it could be considered diamonds.

The band comes out with a heavy, crushing blow in the form of the Himalayans track ‘I Feel Like Ten Men, Nine Dead and One Dying.’ The gorgeous harmonies twist and morph into some kind of hellish mix between Muse and Clutch. The band mellow out and let the audience catch their breath for a little while, showcasing the more bluesy side of their discography. Though, despite what you may think, slower does not always mean softer, a fact which has never been more clearly displayed on drummer Matt Hayward’s red face. Although looking exhausted, the band power through their set with masterful ease.

The band plowed through most of Himalayans early in the set, making way for their grimy roots to take centre stage. Almost shaking the bar to the ground with ‘Hollywood Bowl’, the audience don’t dare stand their ground, twisting as if saplings on the edge of a hurricane’s reach. By the time the encore comes around, it seems as if the band need this time for a breather as much as the crowd. The encore isn’t nearly as intense as the main set, most likely a property that those in the audience are quite OK with, but it still goes hard. As the final notes of (could-possibly-be-a-Jack-White-song) ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’ ring out and the band return backstage to prep for doing this again in two night’s time, the audience seems to collapse in on itself. Although it was a struggle to get here, Band of Skulls seemed to have no issue tearing the city of Melbourne down.

Cleatus Glob

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