Royal Blood // Black Honey // Southampton 02 Guildhall 19.5.17
Royal Blood // Black Honey // Southampton 02 Guildhall
When writing a review, it is always important to give information about the band so every reader is on the same page. However, minimal information would be needed for rock duo Royal Blood as they are literally becoming one of the biggest bands in the country. After raising to fame in 2013, emerging from Brighton and swiftly becoming one of the most talked about bands EVER, it is no wonder their Southampton show sold-out so quickly. In 2013, Royal Blood graced the stage of Southampton indie nightclub, Lennons (RIP) and had no idea four years later they would be selling out the O2 Guildhall.
Black Honey were the support for tonight and are a fast-rising band from Brighton, similar to the headliners. The easily distinguishable vocals from vocalist, Izzy Phillips is Black Honey’s unique selling point that is aiding them in creating a name for themselves. Track, ‘Spinning Wheel’ was the stand out track of the evening which lured us into a depth of relaxation throughout the introduction, whilst Phillip’s harmonious vocals swept us along in a Black Honey ride before chaos was unleashed. The four-piece sampled Dick Dale’s ‘Misirlou’ from Tarantino's 1994 film, Pulp Fiction which added a sense of 90s texture to the set; this also matched their overall image and gave some familiarity to a crowd that potentially had never heard this four-piece before. Black Honey are definitely ones to watch this year as they grace festival stages all over the U.K.
Royal Blood is the name everyone knows, hence the excitement when the lights went down. After being almost over-played by E4 programme, Tattoo Fixers, the lack of resentment to the overplaying proves how brilliant this rock-duo are. You just can’t help but enjoy their music. Royal Blood have managed to take a duo line-up of just a bass guitar and drums onto a large scale. The simplistic approach contrasts the massive sound that comes from this Brighton pair and will continue to blow fans away. Royal Blood played the majority of their debut album before frontman Mike Kerr stated, “We are gonna try some new ones on you”. They then continued to show case some of the tracks off their highly-anticipated album set to be released really, really soon (we hope). With Royal Blood maintaining that heavy, weighty sound found in their first album, I was worried they might have got too comfortable with their sound and not have ventured into anything new. However, I was soon shut up when Kerr started playing keys whilst still creating an enormous sound on his bass-guitar with one hand. Drummer, Ben Thatcher was the most hard-hitting drummer I’ve ever witnessed. With every beat hit with conviction and might, he kept the fast-pace energy going that Royal Blood are famous for. With ‘Figure it Out’ being the stand out track, filled with Kerr’s hypnotic, energetic riffs at the end closing what could have been one of the best performances of a song I’ve ever seen; it reinforced the fact that this night was one to remember. With crowd-favourite, ‘Little Monster’ being executed as perfectly as you could ever dream of, Thatcher then closed the song with a drum-solo we all wished never came to an end.
After a successful four years under their belt and after consistently obtaining more fans with every song sang, it’s clear that Royal Blood is a name that will be talked about forever. Album two is only around the corner and the expectations for it are high. However, if any band is going to exceed those expectations, it will be our favourite Brighton duo.
Photos: Damon Peirce