Royal Blood - Rivermead Leisure Complex

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Tonight, at Reading’s Rivermead Leisure Complex, fans piled through venue doors whilst feverishly out looking for blood.

Crowds gathered as the ferocious and familiar sounds of Brighton duo Royal Blood’s scuzzy riffs began tearing through speakers and bouncing off the venue walls. Vocalist Mike Kerr appeared on stage orchestrating from his heavily distorted bass guitar whilst drummer Ben Thatcher began violently pounding on drums.

Opening tracks such as Lights Out and Come on Over were like a slick well-oiled machine that churned out nothing but greased up garage rock. Returning with their sophomore number one album How Did We Get So Dark? The boys were at ease and let the riffs speak for themselves as amps blustered out melodies on a monumental scale.

Constrained to their instruments, the occasional backing vocals helped provide some hip-swaggering sass on stage adding a dash of funk to tracks such as She’s Creeping and Look Like You Know.

However, fan favourite Little Monster brought the set back to its bare-knuckled best and exhibited the impeccable vocals from Kerr and savage percussion accompanied by Thatcher followed by a truly spectacular drum solo that brought the room down to its knees.

With admirers such as Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, it was unsurprising to see the desert-rock duo tearing off the Rivermead rooftop and leaving Reading an absolute riot. 

Words and photos by Jack Lloyd.