gigs: Royal Blood @ Riverside Newcastle

“Loose change/another penny in my pocket” powerfully booms Mike Kerr, half-way through his and drummer Ben Thatcher’s band’s – the incredible Royal Blood – sold-out show at Newcastle Upon-Tyne’s Riverside Nightclub, on Tuesday 28th October 2014.

Rocking up to Jay-Z’s ’99 Problems’, causing the mainly-male crowd to begin a mass sing-a-long; Royal Blood waste no time in beginning their hour-long setlist, opening with the previously championed ‘The Hole’, a track which sadly, didn’t get a mention on Royal Bloods’ seminal self-titled debut album.

Following track, the commendable ‘Come On Over’, immediately surpasses all previous expectations of those avid fans who never caught the chance to see the band of 2014 at festivals this summer. One of the paramount tracks to reside on Royal Blood, ‘Come On Over’ is the first track at Riverside to whip the crowd into a fevered frenzy.

‘Cruel’, ‘Figure It Out’ and ‘You Want Me’ see the burly Newcastle Upon-Tyne crowd screeching the immortal lyrics to the heavens, almost managing to drown out the echoing sounds of Kerr’s impeccable vocal. ‘Better Strangers’ collects an outstanding round of applause, but immediately bettered by fan-favourite ‘Little Monster’. Arguably the track which propelled them into the heart of the mainstream and into the lungs of the UK; ‘Little Monster’ is one of the slickest preformed tracks of the night; leaving no doubt of how skilled these two musicians, who have the honour of making up Royal Blood, are.

Both ‘Blood Hands’ and ‘Carless’ sees crowd participation go into overdrive, with limbs flying into the air left, right and centre. For the faint-hearted of fans who decided to reside up on the balcony, the sight of palms flashing towards Royal Blood in unison during ‘Blood Hands’ must have been a spectacular sight to behold.

‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ called for another obvious sing-a-long, while penultimate track ‘Loose Change’ made it clear why this band rightfully deserve their place as one of the biggest and best breakthrough bands of 2014. Ending the night on the rip-roaring ‘Out Of The Black’; the raucous vocals of Kerr slid into harmony with the brash drumming of Thatcher: creating the perfectly controlled disaster of sound. For the night to be improved would be impossible. Royal Blood are the band of the current present. and seemingly aren’t about to be bettered any time soon.

Ella Scott

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