Having released their 3rd studio album ‘Dusk’ earlier this year, Rusty Shackle embarked on a UK wide tour and the penultimate night was a sold out show in Cardiff. The upstairs bar was packed to the rafters with people struggling to fit into the room, perching on the stairs just to be able to see the tiny stage. The stage was made to look even smaller with the six-piece alt-folk band filling it.

Opening with the first single from ‘Dusk’ – ‘When The Morning Comes’ – the atmosphere was instantly electric. The crowd bounced and sung to every tune creating a carnival of perspiration and happy faces. The band fed off this energy, seemingly enjoying every minute of their show and getting the crowd involved at any possible moment.

Midway through the set the band broke into ‘Bonkers’ – a cover of Dizzee Rascal’s hit song. It’s difficult to cover songs of such popularity at the best of times, but with a complete change in genre required from the original, it made it even more impressive that Rusty Shackle executed it perfectly. Certainly worth seeing the band just for this interesting and unique take on the popular song that had the whole room ecstatic.

With the room reduced to a dancing mess, they broke into ‘Lucinda Returned’ which, despite being relatively new song, appeared to be a huge hit with everyone in the room. By the end the crowd were singing the chorus back to the band with such glee lead singer Liam had to clarify “We’re not doing a reprise!”. The band then closed with two of their older more popular songs – ‘Bones’ and ‘3am’ – both of which are clearly well established in the their set-list and known by all in the room. It was an incredible atmosphere to have at a gig for any band, let alone a lesser known one.

The band left the stage and the fans filtered out the room, everyone sweaty but smiling and staggering off into the cold April night. After creating  an incredible atmosphere and hype, a gig like that can be a catalyst for any band, launching them to bigger and better things and it certainly looks like that’s a possibility for Rusty Shackle.

This Rusty Shackle was written by Luke Priestly, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson

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