I first came across Royal Blood after a night of downing a few too many beers and watching episodes of Rick and Morty. Watching their trippy and grotesque “Out of the Black” video I was not only creeped out by the video but taken with the song. Given the hype around Royal Blood, and from listening to their hard-hitting album, I was intrigued to find out how a two-man band was going to blow themselves up big enough to fit the White Stage. Since their self-titled album went in at No 1 in the UK charts last year (and winning a bunch of awards along the way) the band have been on the road supporting the Foo Fighters, with the band citing Dave Grohl as an influence in an interview with The Guardian:
“Not only does he make the music he wants to make, every angle is how he wants to do it,” Kerr says. “It gives no excuse for rockstardom and arrogance – he’s a good all-round role model and he could do both our jobs in our band very competently.”
“And manage it and record it,” Thatcher adds. “What a bastard.”
With their tour mates up next on the Green Stage, Royal Blood provided a great warm-up for those willing to dash between stages to catch both, and it was well-worth the trek. Singer/bassist Mike Kerr’s turbo-charged playing makes it sound as though there were five of him on stage and as Ben Thatcher pounds brutally away at his drum kit, the two of them bringing an energy to their show that’s often lacking in much bigger bands.
Royal Blood’s brand of rock always reminds me of U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”. Consider that an unfair comparison if you will, but although the pop sensibility is tucked deep in the rock groove, it is there to see in Mike Kerr’s brilliantly suited voice and the catchy nature of their tracks, no matter how dark they may seem at times. Meanwhile, with heavier moments harkening towards Queens of the Stone Age, Royal Blood’s brand of rock is simultaneously pleasing to the casual rock-listener as well as the more hardcore fan.
Although they may have been in a land where they didn’t speak the language, Royal Blood needed nothing but their presence to convert a whole new swath of fans over to them, and they did it with swagger.
Photo by Yoshitaka Kogawa / Text by Laura Cooper
Posted on 2015.7.24 21:18