Bristol’s Turbowolf (7/10) opened the show in dramatic style. Vocalist and synth player Chris Georgiadis certainly didn’t hold back with his eccentric, Jim Morrison-esque moves while smashing out impressive vocals over the band’s heavy riffs. After their first two songs, “Ancient Snake” and “Rabbit’s Foot”, you could see why they’d been chosen to support Royal Blood, with Mike Kerr looking on approvingly from the side of the stage. Three songs in and the crowd started to loosen up, Chris actively encouraging the audience to join in with choruses and claps. They played their final 3 songs, “Solid Gold”, “Read + Write” and “Let’s Die” with as much energy as when they first arrived on stage; overall an impressive start to the gig.
After a half hour interval the band everyone was here to see, Royal Blood (9/10), arrived on stage. A packed crowd roared with echoing cheers and thunderous claps, which was to be expected from a gig that sold out in under 5 minutes! Without so much as an introduction the band kicked off with “Come On Over”, getting the crowd moving from the first few notes of one of their best-loved tracks. Lead singer Mike Kerr continued with the silent treatment as they led into “You Can Be So Cruel”, which seemed almost calm when compared to the opener.
Royal Blood then finally introduced themselves and thanked the crowd for being there, before launching into their latest single, “Figure It Out”. This clearly pleased the 500 strong crowd, as within the first verse the sea of people were already parting for what turned into the biggest mosh pit of the night so far, the Brighton duo’s chemistry was shining through already with basslines you could feel throughout your body and drums to envy even the biggest bands of today.
After these more well known songs the duo played a B-side in the form of “You Want Me”, the first time it’s been heard so far on this tour. Despite not being very well known it was well received and the cups filled with questionable liquids continued to fly and the fans continued to mosh. After a short break for the band to catch their breath and grab a quick drink they returned to playing with an almost chilled track in “Better Strangers”, giving the crowd a chance to have a break of their own.
This break was well needed too, as after Kerr introduced the audience to the second half of the band (drummer Ben Thatcher) they erupted into the lusty “Little Monster”, to which the crowd responded perfectly. Bodies flew, crowd surfers fell and everyone loved it. From the crowds reaction this appeared to be the best loved song of the night and slightly worse for wear the audience continued to cheer, anticipating the next song.
“Blood Hands” came next and its slow and somewhat relaxed intro lulled the crowd into a false sense of security before the second verse and chorus, of this lesser known album track, picked up with it’s heavy riffs and angry vocals. A personal favourite, “Careless”, followed which again came as a welcome break when compared to some of their more hectic songs.
Up next was the soon to be released “Ten Tonne Skeleton”, another song that received an immense reaction from the crowd with the band visibly enjoying themselves and relishing how well their first Portsmouth visit was going.
“Loose Change” proved to be the penultimate song and with the crowd now feeding off some newly found energy they made sure the last two songs would be ones to remember. A quick break between songs, in which Kerr thanked the audience again, was as close to a breather the audience got, before the duo exploded into the monstrous “Out of the Black” which caused a reaction so immense it probably should have registered on the Richter Scale.
The songs ends, Ben climbs onto the railings and raises his hands to the crowd, Mike joins him; the crowd thinks this is it but the boys return to their instruments for one last instrumental before walking off stage and calling it a night.
It’s easy to see why this band are already being called game changers in their genre; simply awesome.