Live Zone

Royal Blood / Crawlers, Nick Rayns LCR, UEA, Norwich, 12th June 2024



Blistering. Sizzling. Incendiary. Storming. Stunning. Mighty……All spot on adjectives to sum up Royal Blood’s performance in Norwich last night as a warm-up for their main stage Download Festival slot at Donington on Friday this week, opening for Queens Of The Stone Age.


The rammed venue at full capacity (1550) was well up for it when the excellent support band Crawlers did their thing in fine style, and by the time they left the stage and the bar beckoned, the sea of Royal Blood tee shirts and hoodies were gagging for their two heroes Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher to hit the stage.

When they did, the volume of the crowd’s appreciation would have woken the dead. They were in for a bloody cracker too; a rousing 17-song set, including a two-song encore, and the energy levels were off the  scale, both from the fans and the band.



During the first song, “Out Of The Black” – their debut single from 2013, ahead of their self-titled debut album the following year – drummer Ben Thatcher clambered over the barrier from the pit into the delighted crowd.

Gob smacked they are stood feet from 50%  of their favourite band, a space opened up for Ben to throw some shapes, while many captured the scene on mobile video. Mike Kerr staying put on stage.


They included four songs from the latest album, “Back To The Water Below”, their fourth long player which was released last September.

Like the previous three albums, it hit top spot in the UK album chart.

Those four cuts are, “Pull Me Through”, “Tell Me When It’s Too Late”, “Shiner In The Dark” and “Mountains At Midnight”.


Royal Blood setlist 

Out of the Black

Come on Over


Lights Out

Mountains at Midnight

Supermodel Avalanches

Shiner in the Dark

Trouble’s Coming


Pull Me Through

One Trick Pony

Little Monster

How Did We Get So Dark?

Tell Me When It’s Too Late

Loose Change


Ten Tonne Skeleton

Figure It Out


June a year ago we covered these boys in Newcastle warming up for festivals, including opening for headliners Artic Monkeys at Glastonbury, during a break from playing stadiums with Muse.

June 2024 and they are in Norwich doing the same thing; warming up for their main stage slot at the mighty Download Festival in Leicestershire two days’ time. Glasgow was first and now it is Norwich, Download and then a European trek.


For just two guys on stage they make a big noise and if they are half as good as their Norwich performance  at the UK’s most famous rock festival on Friday, their fans are in for a real treat. The Brighton guys met as teenagers in 2005 playing in the same punk band, and formed Royal Blood in 2013.

Ben on drums and Mike on vocals, bass and guitar pack a punch as hard as Tyson Fury, and after Ben’s off stage antics, they got stuck in to a triple treat; with the killer tracks “Come On Over”, “Boilermaker” from their third album and “Lights Out”, all totally smashing it. Next up is the superb single, “Mountains At Midnight” from the current album.

Mike Kerr’s solid as a concrete block, grunged-up bass lines – and some amazing effects via his pedal board – sat alongside Ben Thatcher’s pneumatic drill hammering on his drum kit, with Mike’s growling vocals hold the attention for the entire set. The material is as strong as the powerful performance.

“Typhoons” was Royal Blood’s third consecutive chart topping album in the UK back in 2021, and the material very much stands the test of time tonight in this set. They deliver the title track, plus “Little Monster”, the fabulous title track of their 2017 album “How Did We Get So Dark”, and closing the main set with “Loose Change”.

The brace of songs for the encore are “Ten Tonne Skeleton” and  “Figure It Out”, the latter from their debut album, and there are no complaints in that choice.

Legendary producer Rick Rubin says the sound of Royal Blood isn’t defined by genre or the instruments that they play, but by the unique chemistry forged by the two friends.

Norwich fans had a stimulating chemistry lesson tonight – and unlike my chemistry lessons, nobody got sent out of the room for messing about with a Bunsen burner!

But this band really were on fire – so get ready Download fans…


Support tonight came from Crawlers, a five-piece from Liverpool formed in 2018 whose debut album, “The Mess We Seem To Make” dropped in February 2024.

They gave a damn fine account of themselves and won many new fans.

Crawlers are: Holly Minto, Amy Woodall, Liv May, Harry Breen and Lucy Jones.












Photos: Liam Battersby

Words: Ian Powell



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