REVIEW: Royal Blood Empress Ballroom, Blackpool

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When Brit award winning rockers Royal Blood were looking for venues to tour their debut album it’s likely Blackpool’s majestic Empress Ballroom was pretty high on the list.

It’s intimate surroundings and springy dancefloor are tailor made for bands like this – their infectious and ear shattering riffs bouncing off the walls and ensuring it’s 
pretty hard for anyone, whether at the front or back of the venue, to stand still for long.

Royal Blood are something of an oddity in this day and age of charts dominated by a 
proliferation of dance, rap 
and pop. They are pure old-school, big room rock and don’t pretend to be anything else.

But when it’s as polished a show as this it is easy to see why they’ve quickly built up a pretty sizeable fan base – and scooped Best British Band at the Brits.

And while it’s been said before, it’s worth noting again that given the band is made up of just two members – guitarist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, perched high on his kit in the corner of the stage. Yet the sheer noise the pair can create is hugely impressive.

Songs like Out of the Black and Little Monster inevitably get the best reception but pretty much every track they thrash out has the crowd jumping or nodding along and ensured everyone went home happy.

A special note too for warm up act Mini Mansions.

The brainchild of Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, the LA based trio are an initially unusual watch.

Essentially an eccentric psych-pop band, the already packed out Empress was initially a little unsure how to react to their sound.

But by the end of their set they had won the majority over, thanks mostly to the fact that their songs are so infectiously catchy.

They were the perfect introduction to the heavy rock that followed, and no doubt they will be back on these shores again soon.

Matthew Squires