Amy Gravelle (@AmyGravelle) checks out a host of acts about to tour, here's her recent highlights that will be playing a UK venue near you soon.
After scoring a Number One in the official album charts and with a relentless festival touring schedule building up a dedicated fan base over the past year, it was perhaps no surprise when Royal Blood’s first UK headline tour sold out in minutes. I travelled up to their Halloween gig in Sheffield (31 October) to see if the duo could live up to their current hysteria.
Supporting one of the fastest rising rock bands in the UK is no easy task, but Bristolian alt-rockers Turbowolf seem to make it look easy. Already setting industry tongues wagging with their new single Rabbits Foot, which is taken from the band’s upcoming second studio album released in 2015, Two Hands, they use tonight’s show to acquire new fans that are perhaps unaware of their exceptional live talent. The set is short and succinct, drawing us in with memorable chorus lines from Read and Write and A Rose for The Crows. Lead singer Chris Georgiadis is also arguably one of Britain’s most charismatic frontmen, charming the crowd and warming them up with outlandish stage movements to keep us hooked from start to finish. Turbowolf manage to seal the deal with another new track called Solid Gold, which leaves us lusting after more new material. If the rest of the new album packs as much punch, it sounds like they could be on to something pretty remarkable indeed. On tour: Electric Ballroom, London (6-7 November), Cambridge Junction (8 November), Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth (10 November), O2 Academy, Oxford (11 November), Bierkeller, Bristol (12 November), The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (1 December), The Deaf Institute, Manchester (2 December), Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (4 December), Sound Circus, Bournemouth (5 December), The Institute, Birmingham (6 December), Waterfront, Norwich (8 December), Dingwalls, London (9 December)
After a support slot like Turbowolf’s, this only builds on the elevated mood of the night, but equally adds pressure for the Brighton duo Royal Blood to raise the bar. However the twosome have it covered, as they make a memorable entrance. Bassist/singer Mike Kerr is lifted through the crowd in a coffin, in precession to the Star Wars theme music The Imperial March, all the while drummer Ben Thatcher is looking menacingly out into the audience dressed in full skeleton costume. Now as entrances go, this is pretty epic. Thrashing through tracks such as Come On Over and Figure It Out, their huge sound coming from only a drumkit and bass is already thrilling enough to match the live quality of more established acts such as Queens of the Stone Age and The White Stripes. Their bluesy hard slamming rock style is honed to perfected precision, with the duo making key eye contact throughout the set to ensure no bassline or drumbeat is out of place, where they could easily trick any bystander into thinking they’d been playing together for a lifetime. Tonight, Royal Blood remind us all why they’ve earnt their meteoric rise to the top of the charts and it looks like nothing’s going to stop them continuing that journey even further to pack out stadium sized venues in the near future. On tour: Electric Ballroom, London (7 November), Cambridge Junction (8 November), Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth (10 November), O2 Academy, Oxford (11 November), Bierkeller, Bristol (12 November), Brighton Dome (20 December), Barrowland, Glasgow (22-23 February), Plymouth Pavilions (27 February), Bridlington Spa (28 February), Guildhall, Portsmouth (2 March), Newport Centre (3 March), UEA, Norwich (5 March), Blackpool Winter Gardens (6 March), Ulster Hall, Belfast (8 March), Wolves Civic, Wolverhampton (11 March), O2 Academy Brixton, London (13 March), Nottingham Rock City (14 March).