Musings from the WaffleShed – Royal Blood

Review of Royal Blood gig, by Keith Popper

Call me Archie. As Archie I have hirsute, dancing digits that tap on the steering wheel. They are dancing while I drive; and as Aberdonian evidence that women are taking over rock, Annie Lennox is singing her song about walking on broken glass.

Earlier, as Archie, I denigrated a song by Fishbone called Everyday Sunshine. ‘Stevie Wonder did this 20 years ago; better and less obnoxiously’ I sneered. Lennox. Proper music.

Royal BloodMore than 20 years later, he is who I have become. Arms folded, up at the back and without an alcoholic drink – its Monday and I am therefore driving. I tick off who has done what before and better. I have ticked off: Motley Crue, Black Sabbath, Cinderella, Metallica, The White Stripes (obviously), Rage Against the Machine (exhilaratingly for thirty seconds of a segue-way between obvious runnels), Circus of Pain and Manic Street Preachers (more for the charisma-chasm, quacking vocals and slimming black shirt of the singer than the music though). As Archie, being as he is who I am, I disapprove. I am watching Royal Blood.

As Not-Archie, I should say that Royal Blood, all both of them, are extremely proficient on bass and on drums. And the novelty of the bass player’s effects pedals – they make the bass sound like he’s playing guitar at the same time, much to the incredulity of many of us Archies up the back – make the whole thing more of a diverting sideshow than the clapped out and derivative meta-tribute act that they surely are.

As Not-Archie I concede that Royal Blood is not meant for me. While I doubt they are the favourite band amongst the hormonal hordes at the gig (too thirsty for life to fold their arms), they are a version of a lot of other things which are more sexual or angry or despairing or nihilistic or debauched or interesting which might lead somewhere amazing. As a consequence I find myself ultimately giving my approval, and so I become a fully integrated amalgam of Not Archie and Archie.  And Archie becomes ever so slightly less of a prick, but only so slightly that nobody can see.

This is a site about books and about tea, and how we should read more books and drink more tea. Sometimes, it's hard to know what books to read and what tea to drink. This is where I can help out.

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