Wednesday 18 March 2015

On Stage: Royal Blood

Last year rock duo Royal Blood were playing Paradiso as part of the London Calling festival. Then they released their debut album and things exploded for the band from Brighton. With many miles on the road behind them they now return to the Amsterdam venue that already sold out months ago. I was lucky enough to get my hands on tickets only a few days back.

Royal Blood at Paradiso Amsterdam, March 16 2015

Mini Mansions are the band to warm us up. The trio with Queens of the Stone Age's Michael Shuman play indie rock songs with a bit of psychedelica mixed in. Schuman is standing behind a kind of rockabilly drum kit, but when he's too busy playing guitar a drum computer takes over. The songs are light to digest and have a nice ring to it. Not a bad way to warm up for the Brighton duo.

A huge roar sounds when Royal Blood take the stage. It's obvious the crowd have been anxious to see the band play and are eager to have a rocking night. And they won't be disappointed. Right from the start the big Royal Blood rock machine runs smoothly and full speed. It is simply amazing how they can create such a big sound with just the two of them. The heavy tight grooves with screaming guitar in the hard rock and blues rock songs keep pounding the venue for over an hour. Mike Kerr is very active filling up the empty space of the stage by walking around it like a caged animal, dragging his bass with him.

Every song is met with great enthusiasm and especially hit single 'Figure It Out' shakes the venue where half of the ground floor turns into a wild pit. Kerr addresses the crowd now and then to fire them up even more. But for the rest the lights keep flashing and the machine rumbles on. Ben Thatcher is seemingly unmoved behind his drum kit on the high drum riser, knocking out the irresistible grooves with great ease. But at one point he's so excited himself he jumps off the riser and into the crowd for a short crowd surf. Every single song from the album ends up on the set list and together with songs of their 'Out Of The Black' EP they can keep it going for an hour but after the 'Out Of The Black' track the machine stops and the two lads leave the stage triumphantly. When they will return for a next tour it is unlikely that it will be at this venue since they can fill up much larger ones now.

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01. Hole
02. Come On Over
03. You Can Be So Cruel
04. Figure It Out
05. You Want Me
06. Better Strangers
07. Little Monster
08. Blood Hands
09. One Trick Pony
10. Careless
11. Ten Tonne Skeleton
12. Loose Change
13. Out of the Black

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