The band Royal Blood consists of two guys – Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher – who sound more like a full six-piece act with the amount of noise they’re able to conjure up. Those in attendance at the Edge Secret Thing 3 show at the Velvet Underground this past Friday can attest to that.
The UK duo plays a rough-hewed blend of blues rock, stoner rock, and straight up hard rock not too unlike Canada’s own Monster Truck. Thatcher sits behind the kit while Kerr mans the mic and plays a bass that doubles as an army of electric guitars. It’s not too common to hear a shredding solo performed on a bass, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at a Royal Blood show.
Style aside, the two are loud- probably one of the loudest live bands around today. Throw them in an intimate venue like Velvet Underground and you’ve got a recipe for intensity. Faces were melted as the band tore through hit singles like “Figure it Out” and “Ten Tonne Skeleton”; a wall of about half a dozen amps and speakers made sure that anyone in the venue had a prime vantage point to hear the tunes.
It wasn’t just songs from their self-titled 2014 album that were played; the lucky crowd also got to hear brand new material from the band’s upcoming record How Did We Get So Dark?, including the latest single “Lights Out”. Both Kerr and Thatcher were ferocious as they blasted through the songs, with each of them coming out to mingle with the crowd multiple times while the other jammed away on stage. The two are masterful at their respective positions. A wild-eyed Kerr deftly switched between smooth British croon and full-throated shout, his bandmate ably tosses in complex fills that perfectly accent the frontman’s fierce bass licks.
It’s no wonder that the band regularly fills up arenas; their sound begs for that expanse. So to see them in such close quarters was a treat not too many get to experience, and definitely something to brag about at the office come Monday morning. Assuming of course, you’ve recovered from having your mind blown by then.