Royal Blood Northern Faces
Friday, July 17 2015
7:00 PM | 8:00 PM
Upstate Concert Hall
1208 New York 146
Clifton Park, New York 12065
Royal Blood is a mixture of anguished vocals, ferocious drumming and bass that provides intricate detail as well as a rumble of rhythm. Royal Blood are the result of a lineage that stretches from present day heroes Queens of the Stone Age to the influential Led Zeppelin, and all the way back to early blues pioneers.
Yet this wall of sound emerges from just two men: Mike Kerr howls venomous lines such as “I’ve got a gun for a mouth and a bullet with your name on it” as his bass elicits a roar that a blind test would predict is the result of multiple musicians. Meanwhile drummer Ben Thatcher complements his band-mate’s attack with the controlled aggression of a young Dave Grohl. Royal Blood wrap the primal essence of ferocious rock ‘n’ roll power around a surprisingly innate ability to craft deft melodies and soaring hooks.
Kerr is only willing to describe that eureka moment of sonic experimentation as the result of “three amps and a secret code of pedals” played on a collection of £220 small scale bass guitars. He invested in more expensive equipment but found it couldn’t match the brute power of the cheaper alternatives.
Royal Blood argue that being a duo forces them to find ever more inventive methods to bring their ideas to life. “We seem to resist every opportunity to do something the easy way and instead come up with a more creative solution,” explains Kerr. “If it gets to a point where we think, how can we progress or can we go even larger, I’d like to think that there’s another creative solution rather than expanding the line-up with additional musicians.”
Kerr and Thatcher first met as teenagers and have been playing music together ever since. Kerr experimented with other instruments before settling on the bass & a unique cocktail of pedal & amps. Thatcher was given a drum kit for his sixth birthday and has remained committed to his instrument ever since. Thatcher, they laugh, is the organised and borderline OCD counterpoint to the chaotic and impulsive Kerr.
Things moved quickly after the duo formed Royal Blood at the start of 2012. Their pulverising debut single ‘Out of the Black’ earned significant national airplay, a feat which was repeated when the b-side ‘Come On Over’ gained further attention. Press acclaim followed likewise, which contributed to Royal Blood being the only rock band to be named in the longlist for the BBC Sound of 2014 poll.
After completing the annual NME tour early in the year, last summer saw Royal Blood’s profile explode on the back of a series of memorable performances at festivals including Reading, Leeds and Download, as well as huge outdoor shows with Arctic Monkeys and The Pixies.
Widely acclaimed as one of the finest rock albums in a long time, the duo’s self-titled debut entered the charts at #1 as the highest charting debut rock album in three years. Still maintaining a strong chart position and fast approaching Platinum status, the album’s domestic success is also translating internationally with another #1 in Ireland, Top 10 positions in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, plus Top 20 placings in numerous countries across Europe. At Spotify, Royal Blood have passed 32 million plays.
Highlights of the remainder of the year included their UK and Ireland tour which sold-out entirely within just two minutes and includes two debut London headline dates; a nomination for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Album of the Year; and the release of the single ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’.
Royal Blood are already plotting big things for 2015. Having already confirmed three gargantuan summer stadium shows with Foo Fighters in June as well as their biggest headline tour to date which kicks off next month, their next single ‘Out of the Black’ will impact on February 23rd.
The duo are also in contention for a plethora of major accolades having already collected the iTunes Breakthrough Artist of the Year. They’re confirmed to play at the BRIT Awards at which they’re nominated in the categories of British Album, British Group and British Breakthrough Act. They’ve also been nominated for seven NME Awards, including the major titles of Best British Band, Best Album, Best Live Band and Best New Band.
(Source: Agent Provided)