Royal Blood – Out of the Black
By Samia El-Balawi
Royal Blood. There is only one word to describe this blues-infused garage rock duo from Brighton and that is ‘brilliant’. In fact, there are two words: ‘bloody brilliant’.
In less than a year they’ve gone from playing local gigs to sharing the stage at massive worldwide music festivals with bands who have been in the business for years. Why? Because they create unique music that is raw yet structured, impressively delivered through three distinct sounds: bass, drums and vocals.
The pair consists of Ben Thatcher on drums and Mike Kerr on bass and vocals. They are two friends who have known each other since the age of 16 and have played in various bands together over the years. They formed Royal Blood in 2012 upon Mike’s return from a working holiday in Australia. After Ben picked Mike up from the airport, they agreed to reunite as a two-man band. They played a gig the following night and so began the creative flair with the pair.
By July 2013, Royal Blood received visible recognition from Matt Helders, drummer of the Arctic Monkeys, who wore a Royal Blood t-shirt while performing at Glastonbury Festival in support of the not-yet-known duo. The word began to spread; this was a band that needed to be heard.
In November of the same year, Royal Blood released their debut single entitled ‘Out of the Black’ along with a B-side called ‘Come On Over’. These songs firmly made their mark on listeners who wanted to hear more from the rock duo and their distinct tone of combining heavy bass riffs, versatile vocals and relentless drumming.
Royal Blood’s second single ‘Little Monster’ was released in February this year, followed by a four-track EP and subsequent gigs on stages across the world, one of which included supporting the Arctic Monkeys at a massive outdoor concert in Finsbury Park.
Two-member bands are on the rise and Royal Blood is no exception. Their self-entitled debut album was released on 25 August and features ten songs from a band that sound just as good live as they do in the studio.