ROYAL BLOOD // HOUSE OF VAN'S, LONDON

ROYAL BLOOD CONCLUDE 2017 UK TOUR WITH INTIMATE LONDON SHOW

Royal Blood performing at London's House of Vans - 15/12/2017
Photo Credit: James North and James Bryant - House of Vans, London

★★★

In a year that has seen the Brighton rock duo release their sophomore album, play 150 gigs across the world and headline Alexandra Palace for three successive sold-out nights: Royal Blood ended their 2017 campaign (at least in the UK) in support of ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ with a show at the 850 capacity House of Vans in central London. Tickets were free, albeit only available on a ballot basis due to the intimacy of the legendary venue, which has seen bands such as Foo Fighters (under the guise of The Holy Shits) and Metallica play there in recent years. Fortunately for those who missed out on tickets, the band’s set was streamed live on YouTube and is available to watch back now.

Support for the night fell down to fellow Brighton natives Black Honey, an indie grunge four-piece who most Royal Blood fans should be familiar with by now, considering most of their 2017 has been spent on tour with the band. They are definitely ones to watch for next year with their debut album due out in early Spring, and their palette of sweet melodies and quirky instrumental arrangements (‘Spinning Wheel’ could come straight from a futuristic western soundtrack) translated impeccably live and suitably prepared the fans on the night for the main act to follow.

Cue 9pm - the venue lights dim. Set to the shuffling drum beat of ‘Where Are You Now?’ - courtesy of the machine-like precision of drummer Ben Thatcher - bassist/vocalist Mike Kerr walked out in a comical dad-dancing style, much to the delight of the audience. The 13-song set surprisingly left out several of the staples from the self-titled debut LP, with the duo opting to play some deeper cuts from ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ that were debuted on the recent UK/EU tour, including ‘Look Like You Know’ and ‘Sleep’. Some highlights included the extended drum solo to finish ‘Little Monster’ and an utterly insane ten minute rendition of ‘Out of the Black’ to close the set, which included Mike handing some fans his bass temporarily, an shredding extended jam and the now traditional Ben Thatcher crowd-surf. And of course, the most bruising moshpit of the evening.

Surprisingly as it may seem though the show was fairly tame! The audience mostly took in the first few songs in a fairly calm manner despite the furious energy being dispelled from the duo, with moshing only really erupting towards the end of the set. This isn’t to detract from the band’s performance however: they are a live act unlike no other. Royal Blood provide a balance of energy, musicality and on-stage antics that bring their songs to life, and in an intimate setting this becomes more apparent. They truly are a must see in live rock music.

Royal Blood have no further UK dates announced as of current, with the first few months of 2018 seeing the band travel to South America, Australia and the US in further support of ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’.

House of Vans - Royal Blood : Recap - Documentary set below: 

ROYAL BLOOD: SETLIST

Where Are You Now?
Lights Out
Come On Over
You Can Be So Cruel

I Only Lie When I Love You
Look Like You Know
Little Monster (with Drum Solo)
Hook, Line & Sinker
Sleep
Hole In Your Heart

How Did We Get So Dark?
Figure It Out
Out Of The Black (with Jammed Outro)

BLACK HONEY: SETLIST

All My Pride
Madonna
Somebody Better
Dig
Hello Today
Spinning Wheel
Corinne

FULL SET FROM LIVE AT HOUSE OF VAN'S CAN BE FOUND below:

REVIEW BY: PETER WISHER
PHOTOS BY: JAMES NORTH & JAMES BRYANT - HOUSE OF VANS, LONDON