The Black Keys & Band of Skulls gig
One of the great things about living close to and working in Manchester is the brilliant music scene, Mancunians are lucky to have Manchester Academy which is a part of the university's student union and has live music playing in multiple venues throughout the year. Heavy hitters come here and have probably played here at some time or another when they were starting out, a great platform for new talent and a genuinely great place to be if you're into live music.
Manchester also has 'The Apollo' or officially the '02 Apollo' which was built in 1938 and was originally a cinema. A great venue for live music due to the curving stage setup which means a great view (unless you've got got a tall person with a fat head in front of you) and the option to sit in the balcony, which I never have but would want to experience. I've had the pleasure of the Apollo a number of times, from seeing Bloc Party there a few years ago to most recently Snoop Dogg (haters gonna hate but that was an amazing gig!) so when The Black Keys announced a gig in Manchester with Band of Skulls supporting I just couldn't say no! I've seen The Black Keys previously when they were supporting Kings of Leon at Hyde Park in 2011 and although they were good then I think it's different when a band headlines a show so I wanted to see them again. Coupled with the fact that Band of Skulls were supporting, which had a fantastic debut album called "Baby Darling Doll Face Honey" released in 2009 which my brother put me on last year and I proceeded to listen the hell out of it, I had to go.
Considering my brother introduced me to Band of Skulls I wanted him to come with me, we've been to a few gigs before in Manc and usually go out for dinner before. This time we went to "Grill on New York Street" with steak specifically in mind. They certainly didn't disappoint, although a bit on the expensive side it's well worth the visit if you're in Manchester and want steak!
First up were Band of Skulls, they've got a new album coming out on the 21st Feb, which I'm extremely anticipating and so the tracklist was mostly new for me with some of their great songs from their 1st album. The band are really, really love live! Very tight and clear and they make lots of noise for a 3 piece. Vocals are shared between the male lead guitar and the female bass player which gives more possibilities across the tracks. Can't think of any other band that share vocals on this level and it works really well. Can't wait for their next album after this and if you're into Rock/Indie then definitely give these a whirl. Stand of tracks from their first album include Death by Diamonds and Pearls, Hollywood Bowl and my personal favorite Cold Fame
Next up The Black Keys, a 2 man blues rock group from the states who I've been listening to on & off for well over 4 years. A great catchy band with great riffs and a great beat. As mentioned I've seen these supporting the Kings of Leon however as a main act they were simply amazing. Really loving the new album El Camino which was released last year and so soon after Brothers I was unsure whether it would be the same high quality. It is, I was wrong and this is just a great Rock/Blues album that is catchy as well and dare I say a little more accessible than their previous albums. After this gig The Black Keys should be well on their way to UK dominance and with prominant radio play and chart success they're doing great. Stand out tracks from their latest album include Lonely Boy, Gold on the Ceiling, Money Maker and Run Right Back
An amazing gig, truely impressed by both live performances and it has no doubt concreted my love of both of these bands and with Band of Skulls currently touring I'd love to see them as a main act.
Posted on 10th February 2012
3 years, 7 months, 4 weeks ago