Touring in support of their recently released fourth album ‘Back to the Water Below’, Royal Blood brought their bone-rattling, bass-fueled rock to Stockton’s Globe Theatre last month.
Joining them for the evening and the rest of the tour were Hot Wax, an energetic powerhouse of a trio hailing from Hastings. While they were a band I, and perhaps a large amount of the audience, were less than familiar with going into the night, I left with the urgent need to check them out (and I highly suggest you do the same! NOW!).
They were loud, they were angry, and they were in possession of an in-your-face kind of presence that demanded your attention throughout.
After such a riotous and raw set from the openers, it was time for the duo of Mike Kerr & Ben Thatcher to take the stage, which they did so to the instantly recognisable theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
With an extensive back catalogue spanning four albums, finding the right balance between old and new material could have been an issue facing the headliners tonight. Thankfully this wasn’t to be the case as more recent songs, such as opening numbers ‘Where Are You Now’ and ‘Mountains at Midnight’ were effortlessly intertwined with classic tracks such as ‘Loose Change’, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Come on Over’.
The audience too don’t seem to mind which album they pulled tracks from, with the likes of ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ or ‘I Found Myself in the Dark’ going down as much of a storm as any track on display from their phenomenal breakthrough debut album.
Mike Kerr is often a man of few words (except perhaps earlier this year at Radio 1’s Big Weekend). Regardless of the tight-lipped nature of the frontman between songs, tonight there was still plenty of audience interaction between the band and the crowd, usually through drummer Ben Thatcher.
At one point Thatcher made his way off stage to hand his drumsticks to two members of the crowd sitting in the disabled viewing platform before proceeding to climb the platform and throw his hands in the air and diving headfirst into the crowd who carried him back across the room and to the stage.
Speaking of the crowd, they were in fine voice throughout the night, jumping around (not quite to the point of a circle pit) and singing along to both the words and the bass riffs, with ‘Typhoons’, being the absolute standout moment of the night, and evoking an even bigger reaction than hits such as ‘Little Monster’, ‘Out of the Black’ and closing number ‘Figure it Out’.
Tonight no doubt was the kind of reaction the band have come to expect from crowds, while the crowd, myself included, left The Globe wondering just how on earth two people can make so much noise!