It was at the Austin City Limits music festival in 2012 that I discovered Band of Skulls.
We had a big Day 1 of the festival seeing The Wombats, Quiet Coral, The War on Drugs, Alabama Shakes, The Afghan Whigs, Florence & The Machine and the Black Keys, before heading off to the Continental Club to see Chuck Prophet (ex of Green on Red). What a massively enjoyable day!
Day 2 started slowly as we took in the sights and sounds, the wonderful Father John Misty, some soul and gospel before we headed over to see Band of Skulls. What happened next made the festival.
Rain. Plenty of it. All at once. Rain. Refreshing, liberating, festival rain. The stage flooded, the band were forced to evacuate, then start again and again, shortening an already short 1 hour set.
But I saw enough. It was epic. The rain made it even more so.
The girls love Russell Marsden. The boys love Emma Richardson. Combining beautiful harmonies and slashing rock riffs, songs such as The Devil Takes Care of It's Own, Sweet Sour, Bruises, Wanderluster, You're not pretty but you got it going on (great lyric!), Lies - hang on I'm about to name every song on the album! - are brilliant tracks and formed the playlist for Summer 2012.
But the song that stands alone for me is Navigate.
Everybody's back in town / Give me the armour and let me prepare / It can be easy or difficult, to steer / The heart and breath stops death, cheats death / It's clear
Time and tide wait for no man / Slowly realise as fast as you can / Thought I saw a glimpse of how you were at five / Ain't it strange how these things take you by, surprise
We are drifting on a deep sea / And I can't navigate the stars like my father / Oh we're drifting out to sea / Into deep water / If we're scared it puts us under me
Given how much I listened to this album I really needed to express it in a painting. Images of drifting on a deep sea, navigating by the stars, glimpses of a 5 year old were in my mind as I developed a blue-green lined sea with noughts & crosses as navigation metaphors.
Hope you enjoy!