The waiting is over. I have at long last seen Royal Blood live. And they were absolutely everything I could have hoped for and more besides. I count this as a landmark moment in my gig history – and I’ve seen a fair few over the years. Last night though easily ranks in the top five amongst the creme-de-la-creme of live acts.
Everything about this sold-out leg of Royal Blood’s European tour was right. From the fact that it was on home turf (almost) – Brighton’s only ten miles from Worthing – to the sheer exuberant happiness of the crowd – to the brilliance of the support acts – to the post-gig conversational buzz about just how amazing all of that was. And my brother and I were there. Part of it. Proud to say we are now amongst the privileged masses to have seen the rock act of the 21st century to date live and loud and wonderful.
Royal Blood came complete with two top rate support acts. First up were Zyco Chain from London. Performing material from their 12 year history, the band set the scene with power and panache, particularly with their set piece ‘New Romantic’
Second up were the Marmozets. Fronted by Becca MacIntyre, the band from Bingley, West Yorkshire set out to prove that they could do stuff from their debut album (The weird and wonderful Marmozets) released back in September just as well live as in the studio. And prove it they most certainly did.
And then the house lights went down and stormed straight back up for two hours of blistering tracks from the men themselves – Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher. Close your eyes and you’d swear this was at least a five-peice. But you’d be wrong. So totally wrong. Two people – bass and drums but with a sound totally unlike no other. This is 21st century rock at its absolute best. The art of the loop-pedal for an axeman cometh and it is Mike Kerr. And the fifty-pound hammer is alive and very well thank you very much. Its name is Ben Thatcher. Rock is Royal Blood. End of.