Review: Royal Blood at HBF Stadium, Perth, 13 May 2018
Royal Blood duo Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher hit HBF Stadium Sunday night fresh from completing their regional tour of Australia with Groovin the Moo. For WA fans, this was the first chance to see the boys in the flesh and rather than looking tired from the festival circuit, they looked sharp and at the top of their game. Along for the ride were always welcome additions Polish Club and local lads Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.
Anyone unaccustomed with the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets that might’ve considered sitting out the support in the bar – well, don’t. This talented four piece have got it all going on. Cool harmonies, altered tempos, epic song construction and impressive dual lead guitar work by the tonne. The two axemen here spend a lot of time above the 12th fret and created some great swirling effect driven songs that built like an approaching storm.
The only down side was not being able to see the drummer who was hidden amongst the weaponry of the bands still to come. Unique and exciting.
Enter, Polish Club. No surprises here, David Novak & John-Henry Palak bring energy and bucket oads of fun everywhere they go (and muesli bars too). Among the highlights was a Mother’s Day dedication in the form of Savage Garden’s ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ followed by ‘Divided’, which the perpetually grinning Palak dedicated to dads. ‘Whatchuknow’ was impossible to not dance to, ‘Beeping’ was played at warp speed and ‘Come Party’ ended an always enjoyable experience with the duo.
Under dimmed lights, Kerr and Thatcher danced a playful little shuffle towards their instruments to the applause of fans and the music of KC & The Sunshine Band’s ‘Get Down Tonight’. The playfulness of the pair was in stark contrast to the complete onslaught the audience was about to receive.
From the opener ‘Where are you now?’ to the encores of ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Out Of The Black’, the massive sound generated by just two men was almost physical as it tried to break sternums and move walls. Thatchers snare sounded like canon fire and Kerr’s bass resonated in your bones.
A reduced sized stage due to the non-requirement of excess band members provided an illusion of scale. The amps appeared to be larger and became an imposing presence of their own as too the drum kit towering over mere mortals from its elevated position. Royal Blood proceeded to smash through an impressive catalogue of absolute belters that some 20-year music veterans would look upon with envy.
The old saying ‘all killer and no filler’ has never been more appropriate but in reality, Royal Blood simply don’t know what filler is. ‘I Only Lie When I love You’, ‘Little Monster’, ‘Loose Change’ were all smashed out of the park just to be followed by the next series of hits.
Every Royal Blood fan got what they were looking for, although the bruising around the sternum was a bonus.