Royal Blood rise to the Arena challenge, 17/11

The dynamic duo that are Royal Blood hit the First Direct Arena to play to a huge and
enthusiastic crowd. Their latest album, How Did We Get So Dark?, has elevated them to arena-
filling popularity and they seem to be embracing this growth.

Image credit: Andy Watson/Backgrid

Opening with ‘Lights Out’, Royal Blood produced a wall of sound that filled the arena. Ben Thatcher’s
pounding drums and Mike Kerr’s powerful guitar are a match made in heaven. Both seemed
extremely comfortable on the huge stage and were, for the most part, cool and relaxed throughout.
This persona only broke when someone threw a shoe at the stage, which Mike was definitely not
happy about. Even when there was an issue with crushing in the crowd, the band reacted almost like
a primary school teacher, pausing and saying that they would start playing again once everyone
moved back.

The crowd were certainly very excited to see the band. There was a surprisingly wide age diversity
amongst the fans, ranging from teenagers to 60-somethings, which I suppose is a testament to Royal
Blood’s appeal as a band. They have a very distinct style; hard drum beats, rhythmic bass patterns
and growling vocals. This combination works incredibly well in a huge venue like the First Direct

The concert finished with ‘How Did We Get So Dark’ which left the crowd on their feet, cheering. The
band then took to the stage again for their encore, playing ‘Ten Tone Skeleton’ and ‘Out Of The
Black’. Mike commanded the audience brilliantly. It was an electric end to an awesome
performance. Royal Blood certainly didn’t disappoint.


Katie O’Kelly