In the rock ’n’ roll sphere, Royal Blood are an anomaly.
Less is much, much more.
Performing to a sold-out crowd at Hindley Street Music Hall, the Brighton two-piece rarely came up for air in an unrelenting and powerful set spanning four albums of material in just over 90 minutes.
Taking to the stage to Ennio Morricone’s familiar yet eerie The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme, usually associated with guns being drawn in a shootout, guitarist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher had something much bigger in their arsenal. They are a live band in every sense of the word, bringing a thunderous crunch to their hard-rock sound and energy in spades, making the night a rollicking affair from go to whoa.
It’s remarkable what Kerr can produce from his bass, using numerous pedals and manipulation to conjure up a sound many rock bands bigger in both size and stature can only dream of.
Thatcher is mesmerising behind the drums, treating each fill and cymbal hit with impunity. From the opening snare hits of “Out of the Black”, the sound could be felt from your chest down to the foundations of the building and it only got heavier from then on.
“Mountains at Midnight”, the sludgy riff of “Boilermaker” and new single “Shiner in the Dark” all followed with little fuss from the band, who were intent on keeping the engine rolling on at full speed. Kerr then announced that “this one is hot off the presses” – launching straight into the frantic “Supermodel Avalanches”, a B-side kicking around on the internet that was officially released this week.
The band’s singles continued to be peppered throughout the set. The danceable “Trouble’s Coming”, “Little Monster”, “How Did We Get So Dark” and “Loose Change” kept the tempo high, before the band exited the stage for a well-earned breather. The crowd were also appreciative.
Returning for a three-song encore, the duo shifted pace briefly for mellow piano-based “Waves”, but the respite was short lived. “Ten Tonne Skeleton” and the band’s calling card, “Figure it Out”, rounded out the night to the delight of the crowd, who gave it their all for one last dance.
This was the band’s smallest show on their tour, yet the energy in the 1800-capacity room was palpable. It was an early Christmas present for Adelaide rock fans – and come Christmas Day we’ll still probably have ringing in our ears.
Royal Blood played at Hindley Street Music Hall on December 19 as part of their Australian tour.
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