Royal Blood UEA Norwich March 2015

Royal Blood are the first UK rock band to really excite me, if I am honest, I was starting to wonder if we still had it in us. However upon hearing Ten Tonne Skeleton blast into my ear holes for the first time I immediately hit download on my phone and I was not disappointed,  there is not one song on their debut album that doesn’t deliver.

Their electric vibe rocks you to the very core whilst putting your head into an involuntary beat bob and they were on instant repeat. I was fascinated in the knowledge that these boys were a two piece from Brighton, one guitarist one drummer.

The last time I was excited about an electro duo was by the brilliant ‘The Presets‘, from Australia who rock a synthesizer like its 1980.

Royal Blood have recently been smashed all over Radio One and they seem to have boomed even more since their efforts on The Brit awards which you can view here

I knew Royal Blood were going to be big but after this spike of interest, I was also in the knowledge that I would never see them at such a small venue ever again. This was to be sacred.

UEA is a small college venue in Norwich. A long way to go for a gig but totally worth it. The arena described as intimate doesn’t really give the experience justice. The main pit is surrounded by a small few steps which if you are like me, a short arse, gives you the advantage of taking a higher position to be able to see the band throughout.

The support act, Mini Mansions are a three piece band from California. They have an 80’s rock vibe with the drummer, fully donned in a complete white suit, taking up front and centre stage. This dude not only killed it on his electric drums but also sang and played guitar. He was completely hypnotic and I can see why he takes the stance in the group he does. He reminded me of a young Health Ledger in appearance with the energy of a bull jacked up on caffeine.

The other band mates included a singer on keyboard in a very ‘indie’ kind of attire and another guy who wore a fully crazed Jacquard suit who rocked out on guitar. Each of them seemed to work cohesively with the other in a strange, complete opposites kind of way, however, what they lacked in stage appearance harmonisation they more than made up for in sound. Clearly a trend at the moment with Kasabian hitting hard with a new look that makes you wonder if they all auditioned blindly – but who says a band has to all conform to genre attire.

This band were really fresh and, similar to Royal Blood, bring a new yet familar sound to prick your ear drums and rattle your inner ‘rocker’. They remind me of The Rocky Horror show in some of their style but with a much more cutting edge. They are certainly one to watch and are already collaborating with the likes of Artic Monkeys, Alex Turner. They created the right tension in the anticipation of Royal Blood and they couldn’t have picked a better support act.

It was a shame they didn’t communicate more with the crowd but they did spend time promoting themselves at the back of the audience whilst Royal Blood were ripping it up.

When Royal Blood finally came on it felt like the room took a sudden huge intake of breath and the walls closed in as people gathered on the main floor and welded you into position from all angles. Regardless of any desire to move my choice had been revoked.

When they started to play the main floor manifested into a sea of mosh as the crowd forcibly swayed from side to side in a tidal wave of sheer ecstasy as the music, they had been longing to hear, flowed through their veins, responding like a body embroiled in another.

Mike kerr is sheer phenomenal on guitar, each song brings a new guitar, each with it own dirty deep bases that leaves vibrations reverberating from person to person. Ben Thatcher is the energetic drummer who takes banging sticks to a new level. Both, at ages 25 and 26 respectively, clearly have a long and successful career ahead of them.

Their debut album only has 10 songs so there were a few breaks but they also did an awesome cover and regardless of the rudimentary wealth of material this is probably one of the best gigs I have been too.

I must admit, there were points where I felt like a weeble, being pushed in circular motions by stampedes of people, trampling all in their way, to only to wedge you back into your previous space, in one well perfected swoop. I am unsure when it became acceptable to maneuver people by literally man handling them back into position like pieces in a over populated human chess board, but then all things ‘personal space’ is void at such an event – its all part of it.

However, due to this I am lacking in photographs which is a huge shame given I was around 15 people away from this awesome duo but it was near on impossible to move without basically coming onto the person next to you let alone attempting to get your phone out for obligatory pictures.

I am due to see this band again in June when they support the Foo Fighters, I for one, cannot wait to be back seeing these amazing dudes rocking out once more. Although, I am sure seeing them in Wembley stadium is going to bring a very different experience to the cozy UEA.

Peace out


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