It’s always a pleasure to see Rusty Shackle (10/10) live and they were on top form as they took to the stage at Gwdihŵ. Opening with an energetic rendition of John Henry, they powered through it before cracking on with their new single, The Bones. This is a song that’s so catchy that it can get stuck in your head for days, so in my opinion it’s the perfect choice for the leading single from the album – if you don’t feel like singing along to the simple chorus then there must be something wrong with you!
Following this was Cold Hearted Town. Admittedly this is one of my favourite songs by them, but on this occasion it was just something else. It just seemed to have more of an edge to it than usual and it was a beautiful rendition of what was an already fantastic track.
Of course, it wasn’t long before one of their much-loved cover songs snuck into the set, a cover of Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal. One of the things I love about their covers is that they always start off so far from the original that you usually don’t realise what they’re covering until they reach the chorus, so it is quite entertaining to see the audience reaction as they finally realise what’s being played! It was also a treat to see them play Beating Heart Of A Kingdom afterwards (one of the strongest tracks on their debut album, in my humble opinion) as it’s not a staple of their set any more.
Another high point of the night was Thinking. The instrumentation in this one is fantastic and I always love when they get the crowd involved with the ending, getting everyone singing along. It really adds to the song and makes it all the more enjoyable for everybody involved.
The highlight for me was always going to be their magnificent cover of The Bad Touch by The Bloodhound Gang. Their interpretation of it – which features some brilliant rapping courtesy of guitarist James – is so wonderful that it far surpasses the original and it’s always a treat when they include it in their set.
Finishing with 3am, it drew the set to a wonderful close. One of the things that is so good about this band is that they’re always out to have fun and it really comes across that way onstage. The five of them are always full of energy and always put on an engaging performance as a result – they’re a band who seem to have got their live performance nailed and as a result it is always a pleasure to catch them live. Go and see this band – you won’t be disappointed.