Royal Blood are one of the most exciting live bands in recent history and there was a lot of expectation for this recent tour. They did not disappoint. The setlist was packed with established rock songs that get you out of your seat. From the first song, 'Typhoons', they owned the stage, and the crowd was very much on their side as Mike Kerr shredded the bass Motorhead style. It is refreshing to know that rock is still very much popular with music fans and Royal Blood are at the front of this revival.
Although, it is clear they changed their style for their most recent album Typhoons, they have in no way lost their identity. Boilermaker was one of the standout songs from the night, with the booming base at the start mixed with Ben Thatcher’s thrilling drums made for an exhilarating performance. Lights Out translated brilliantly live, with Kerr’s intricate guitar work shining throughout the track.
Royal Blood make their concerts an experience and it is certainly one that I would recommend to any rock fan. This tour has certified Royal Blood as an arena band that doesn’t have any flashy gimmicks or over the top production. Mike Kerr’s swagger and confidence on the bass is unlike anything since Lemmy. The new, more ‘synth’ sounds of limbo and 'Oblivion' mix well with the older, more rock-rooted songs like ‘Come On Over’ which makes for an exceptional setlist, full of energy and high-quality musicality.
Mike Kerr (Bass) and Ben Thatcher (drums) at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, 29th March
There was also an emotional and touching tribute to the great Taylor Hawkins. A photo of Ben Thatcher with the Foo Fighter’s drummer on the big screen was followed by a drum solo that would have made Hawkins proud. The tribute was beautifully understated and Royal Blood did what they do best in what was a fantastic tribute to Hawkins. It was especially touching as a 5-minute standing ovation for Hawkins went around the arena in a perfect sentimental, emotional tribute to one of their many inspirations. Furthermore, Kerr made his own tribute to Hawkins, playing “All we have is now” a song about living in the moment and a celebration of life.
Both Kerr and Thatcher are masters of their instruments and make it look effortless on stage. It is also refreshing to see the true friendship between them, with Kerr standing beside Thatcher instead of in front of him, making sure to share the limelight and it works perfectly. Without question, the standout song was ‘Out of the Black’, not their biggest hit by charts standards, but a fan favourite. The build-up to the chorus had the crowd on strings waiting for the heavy bass to kick in. It made for the perfect closing song that left you with great amounts of adrenaline, wanting more.
Ultimately, Royal Blood are a band that any rock fan would enjoy seeing live and their presence and passion on stage is clear from the onset.
Amy Bryan-Smith and Alex Duke
Featured and in-article images courtesy of Royal Blood via Facebook