Music / Feature

Things we learned from Royal Blood at Glastonbury

The duo played the Pyramid Stage on Friday.

It’s been quite the weekend for Brighton duo Royal Blood. Mere moments after finding out they have hit the UK No.1 spot with their sophomore album, How Did We Get So Dark?, they take to the iconic Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival, sandwiched between American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson and electronic masters The xx. The hour-long set has since been celebrated as one of the highlights of the weekend. Here’s what we learned from the sun-soaked filed in Somerset.


Rock and roll dreams can come true

All-out gritty rock and roll isn’t new to Glastonbury Festival. In fact, the following day Foo Fighters will take to the same stage for a similar masterclass in musical showmanship. Yet for a festival that prides itself on diversity in sound, Royal Blood prove that sometimes you just need a dose of rock. It’s soulful, filled with a skilful sleaze, and entirely mesmerising.


Just the two of them can make it if we try

Walking past the vast sea of fans pointed towards the Pyramid Stage, you’d be forgiven for thinking the high-energy, high-volume riffs emerging from the main stage are the result of a full band. Duos have proved over time that musical magic is possible with minimal instruments (Ed Sheeran will go on to prove you sometimes only need one), yet Royal Blood fully embody rock and roll with just a guitar and drums.


They’ve got the music in them

And it really hits the mark in a live setting. The guitar and drums might be relentlessly heavy, but it’s the catchy melodies they drive that have pushed Royal Blood to where they are now. Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher are masters of not only their instruments, but also how to get the most out of them. It’s all in the song writing, even as Thatcher beats the living daylights out of his kit for a thunderous drum solo.


Friends in high places

It wasn’t just festival ticket holders soaking in Royal Blood. Screen royalty were also on hand, as the pair post a picture of themselves with Mr Brad Pitt. “Congratulations to our completion winner – William Bradley Pitt,” they joke. All three of them won this time around.

Congratulations to our competition winner – William Bradley Pitt.

A post shared by Royal Blood (@royalblooduk) on


Tonight they’re going to party like it’s 2017

Having been told they’ve hit the No.1 spot, the pair aren’t going to go lightly on celebrations. Holding a bottle of champagne each, they douse the front of the crowd and continue to periodically delve into the fizzy victory. “Just excuse us for one second, because we’ve just found out our album is at No.1,” they announce. “For the sake of rock and roll, we owe this to ourselves.” It’s definitely still possible to be rock with a bottle of fizzy wine, especially as they then launch into Figure It Out.


Nobody is leaving unhappy

Walking away at the end of the set, concluded by the cataclysmic Out of the Black, every single reveller in earshot is awestruck by the sheer ability of Royal Blood. Even ignoring the fact there’s only two of them, the brilliant song-writing blends with a high-octane performance to truly deliver one perfect live experience. They aren’t missing their chance to get a photo with the crowd either.


You can catch Royal Blood live in November, joined by At The Drive-In and Black Honey. Here are those tour dates:

13 November – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
14 November – Rivermead, Reading
16 November – Manchester Arena, Manchester
17 November – First Direct Arena, Leeds
18 November – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
20 November – Alexandra Palace, London
24 November – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
25 November – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
26 November – 3Arena, Dublin
28 November – Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
29 November – Brighton Centre, Brighton

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

You can watch the full Glastonbury Festival set now via the BBC.

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