Royal Blood are quite obviously the buzz band of the moment, with their rip-roaring debut album hitting number one, and tonight’s show selling out so emphatically that the band have pencilled in a return visit at The Olympia in February. It was only in March of this year the band were performing at The Workman’s. Despite the band’s success and their huge popularity, Royal Blood only have one album half an hour long, and even when including non-album tracks the group still have less than an hour of material. How the band will fill up their time slot is the pressing question when heading to tonight’s show.
The non-album track Hole opens the show, and despite being a little unfamiliar, it carries all the trademarks of the Royal Blood sound; big riffs, powerful vocals and some serious drumming. The rousing Come On Over exhibits a fierce energy and passion, and the band keep up this high intensity all night. The band have a wonderful skill at injecting liveliness into their songs by having paused transitions between verse and chorus. The drums will often cut out entirely for the bridge, so when they do come back in for the chorus, the effect is explosive.
Better Strangers keeps up the constant barrage of top-quality riffs, and the use of bass rather than a six-string guitar means that the riffs are slightly slower and pronounced, allowing us to appreciate every single note. The group’s consistency is perhaps their biggest asset for their live shows; each song is as good as the last, and despite each tune using the same basic formula, the band manage to offer something different on each track.
There are a couple of areas where the band could do with improving slightly; their interaction with the crowd between songs is very basic, with only a few thank you’s being spoken for the duration. As a two-piece there is a lot of space on stage, and perhaps Kerr could move around a bit more. He’s far from static, but all that extra space could be put to better use. The songs also seem to be played a tad slower than on record. It doesn’t take anything away from the show, but is this to disguise the fact the band scarcely have enough material to perform a full set? If filling their time slot wasn’t on the band’s mind, would they play the songs that little bit faster?
Who really cares though? The group manage to find an extra gear on Loose Change, with an extra wallop of distortion on the bass upping the ante before the duo launch into a raucous version of Out Of The Black. Here there’s no holding back, the song is played at a furious pace and the performance is mind-blowing. Thatcher races out from behind the kit and launches himself into the crowd at what appears to be the song’s end, but he clambers back onstage and behind the kit for one last hard-hitting outro. Royal Blood are a seriously good live act, with a set of songs that are perfect for the live stage. The small faults in their performance will probably be ironed out with experience, and they’re likely to be an even better band by the time they return to Dublin next year. The hype is justified.