Gig review: Royal Blood at First Direct Arena, Leeds

Royal Blood. Picture: Joeseth CarterRoyal Blood. Picture: Joeseth Carter
Royal Blood. Picture: Joeseth Carter
Royal Blood came out with their foot-stomping rock behemoth of a debut back in 2014, a duo that condensed the sounds of Queens Of The Stoneage riffs into a chugging two-piece rhythm section with delicious results.

Last year’s Typhoons added a welcome swathe of synthesiser sheen to the mix, drawing more into latterday Muse territory, re-energising and reinventing the band once more.

On record, Royal Blood albums are rugged but polished gems, blurring the lines between what is pedal-board mastery and production wizardry. It is this mystery that has stopped me peeling back the curtain to see them play live before, unsure as to if this duo would bring in several session musicians lurking behind shadowy amplifier cabinets to fulfil the sound.

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For me there is nothing worse than being sold a duo and see eight other members on stage doing the legwork.

Royal Blood are thankfully the real deal, a tight as a pin-hole duo with all the symbiotic understanding of each other as The White Stripes were. Being predominantly a powerhouse of drum and bass, the syncopation needs to be flawless and then some.

Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher are seamless in their transitions from track to track, hurtling into Typhoons, Boilermaker and Come On Over with gleeful ease as a roaring opener to the set.

The evening crowd were enraptured from the outset, how anyone survived the mosh-pit is anyone’s guess. The band played the crowd like puppets, driving the riffs through the arena, creating an intoxicating relentless energy throughout. Trouble’s Coming you say? Bring it on.

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