Gig Review: Royal Blood at First Direct Arena, Leeds

royal blood. Image: Joeseth Carter

Last year’s Typhoons added a welcome touch of synthesizer sheen to the mix, moving more into modern-day muse territory and reinvigorating and reinventing the band once more.

On record, Royal Blood albums are sturdy but polished jewels that blur the lines between pedalboard mastery and production magic. It’s this mystery that has kept me from pulling back the curtain to see them perform live beforehand, unsure if this duo would have multiple session musicians lurking behind shadowy amp enclosures to fill the sound.

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To me, there’s nothing worse than being sold as a duo and seeing eight other members on stage doing the footwork.

Luckily Royal Blood are the real deal, a tight as a pinhole duo with all the symbiotic understanding of each other that The White Stripes were. Being primarily a powerhouse of drum and bass, the syncopation has to be impeccable and then some.

Seamlessly transitioning from track to track, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher throw themselves into Typhoons, Boilermaker and Come On Over with gleeful ease as a roaring opener to the set.

The evening audience was enthralled from the start, how anyone survived the mosh pit is anyone’s guess. The band played the crowd like puppets, propelling the riffs through the arena and generating an intoxicating, unrelenting energy throughout. trouble coming you say? Bring it on.

About Mike Crayton

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