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Live Reviews

Architects

UEA LCR, Norwich

Friday 22nd October 2021

Architects Norwich UEA

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ARCHITECTS – NORWICH UEA LCR – LIVE REVIEW

Architects are a band that have never lacked in self-belief. They have always put their faith in their music and tonight exemplifies that. No support acts, a minimalist stage presentation, just Architects on a stage blasting out their set with little in the way of bells and whistles.

Tonight at the UEA LCR in Norwich is a part of an intimate run of dates hastily arranged after the postponement of their upcoming arena tour. Those five arena shows now takes place in May next year and you’d imagine that there will be bells and maybe even a few whistles thrown in.

What the band do tonight though is prove that actually, they don’t need any of that. Whilst it would’ve been nice for a young up and coming band to get the chance to warm up the audience, the Architects fanbase are able to go from 0 to 100 as soon as the first note is played.

That first note comes from ‘Black Lungs’ which is the first of nine tracks to air from their latest album ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’. Whilst for some bands that many new songs may be overkill, for Architects it once again shows their confidence.

Their confidence is certainly well placed. ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’ will no doubt feature towards the very top of the 2021 Full Pelt Music Album of the Year List. After all we called the album “…a masterpiece of the genre…”.

Read our review of ‘For Those That Wish to Exist’

Fans are therefore delighted to finally get to experience these songs live and whilst the likes of ‘Nihilist’ and ‘Gravedigger’ are savoured it’s the new tracks such as ‘Giving Blood’, ‘Little Wonder’ and ‘Dead Butterflies’ that elicit the best reactions.

‘Holy Hell’ tracks ‘Royal Beggars’ and ‘Doomsday’ also naturally see bodies flying in the packed audience. It’s left to two more new songs however to close the show and the encore of ‘Meteor’ and ‘Animals’ perfectly round out a stunning evening of music provided by Architects.

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Listen to ‘Dead Butterflies’ on our Spotify Hot List!

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Live Reviews

Salem

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Tuesday 19th October 2021

Salem

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SALEM – NORWICH WATERFRONT – LIVE REVIEW

It’s almost a year since Salem released their debut EP. An EP that was never intended to be released but a pandemic and a lockdown or three saw Will Gould and Matt Reynolds pull the trigger.

Of course, Gould is normally associated with being the charismatic frontman for Creeper. That original EP was born out of the creative process for the latest Creeper album ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’; with Gould looking for a different outlet for some of his punkier output.

Following the positive reception to that first EP it was almost inevitable that another should follow and soon enough ‘Salem II’ arrived. At that point Salem became somewhat more than a creative outlet and more of a full blown side-project from Gould’s perspective. The collaboration between Gould and Reynolds appears to have given them both a new lease of life.

Read our review of ‘Salem II’ from Salem

With two EP’s it was again an inevitability that live shows would follow. So with a band in place Salem revealed a lengthy trek around the UK and tonight they arrive in Norwich at the Waterfront Studio.

Opening on the tour are Welsh rockers James and the Cold Gun. Creeper have always carefully curated their support acts and it’s clear Salem will follow suit. James and the Cold Gun are an ideal opener that deliver a blistering opening set that gets the audience ready for the main event.

The likes of ‘Plug Me In’, ‘Cheating on the Sun’ and ‘Long Way Home’ showcase the quality that the band possess. With great material, confident stage presence and plenty of energy, the future should be bright for the band.

Clearly the future is also looking bright for Salem. Yes, the weight of Gould’s name does some heavy lifting, but there are not many bands who could play a 19 date UK Tour within a year of their debut EP! The fact is again it’s the quality of the material which helps convince people to leave their homes and check out this new prospect.

Listen to ‘DRACULADS’ from Salem on our Spotify Hot List!

With just the two EP’s and a bonus cover of The Damned classic ‘New Rose’ making up the set list, tonight is short but very sweet. Gould is on top form clearly enjoying the change of pace, and the band as a whole are well knit.

By the end of encore track ‘Destroy Me’ it is well and truly a case of mission achieved for Salem. The crowd go home thoroughly entertained and Salem continue to build their own legacy.

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Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

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Live Reviews

VUKOVI

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Tuesday 12th October 2021

VUKOVI

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Have you ever left a show with that euphoric feeling, knowing that you’ve just witnessed one of those special life-affirming shows that remind you why you love live music? SPOILER ALERT: this was one of those shows!

Let’s unpack the evening from the beginning then shall we? It’s cold, winter as they say is coming, but that means gig season is in full flow. The venue for the evening is the Waterfront Studio in Norwich, which is a great little room above the main venue and regularly plays host to these extra special intimate shows.

Tonight is sold out with roughly 200 eager music fans in attendance for a bill set to feature 3 bands all with growing reputations and raring to get back out on the road after the pain of the past 18+ months. This show also happens to be the first night of the tour with the element of the unknown thrown in.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

First on stage is a band that has been honing their craft for a few years now and appear ready to push on to the next level, Delaire the Liar. They are fast, heavy and archaic and ensure that the crowd are warmed up suitably having been stood out in the cold a few minutes before.

Then it’s time to bring the riffs as Press To MECO arrive on stage for their first show with their new line-up. Trusted fan favourite ‘A Quick Fix’ kicks off an impactful set before the band bring their latest album, ‘Transmute’ to life on stage.

Read our review of ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO

‘A Test of Our Resolve’ sounds absolutely massive live and deserves to see the band gracing much bigger stages in the future. The crowd are really up for it tonight and as the band close out their short but oh so sweet set with ‘Gold’ and ‘Sabotage’, everybody is left wanting more from the band.

Press To MECO were always a force to be reckoned with live and this new line-up appears to have taken them up another notch or two. So, at this point the evening is progressing extremely well and is already a great gig, but we said it was special didn’t we?

There is still one act left and that act is VUKOVI. From the moment the band take to the stage to the moment they leave, VUKOVI have the audience in the palm of their hands. There must be something in the air, because a cold Tuesday night in Norwich has no right to have a crowd so up for it.

Over the next hour or so the band blast out a set of fast-paced, highly moshable songs that can only really be described these days as bangers! The control of the stage exerted by singer Janine Shilstone is uncanny and helps to make that special atmosphere needed for this to become an elite level gig.

WATCH ‘HURT’ FROM VUKOVI ON YOUTUBE
VUKOVI – ‘HURT’

The likes of ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’, ‘HURT’, ‘Run/Hide’ and ‘La Di Da’ are incredible tonight but really it’s the whole set that stands out and ensures that fans are sent out back into the cold feeling warm inside.

All three bands brought it tonight and the audience reciprocated in kind. With this only being night one of the tour, do yourself a favour and grab a ticket to one of the shows, get down there early and savour three bands all proving that the future is bright for British rock music!

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Live Reviews

Manic Street Preachers

Cambridge Corn Exchange

Monday 11th October 2021

Manic Street Preachers

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MANIC STREET PREACHERS – CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE – LIVE REVIEW

Manic Street Preachers are a legendary act at this point so it’s no surprise that their show at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge is sold out well in advance. A well-received new album doesn’t hurt either and that’s exactly what the band has in the shape of ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’!

Read our review of ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ from Manic Street Preachers

Before the band grace the stage however we get the support act, Low Hummer. Seasoned gig goers have all experienced unknown support acts that surpass expectations, and sadly also those that sound like they’ve never picked up an instrument before that night. Thankfully tonight it’s the former as Low Hummer deliver an fantastic opening performance.

Confident and assured the band are given a generous 40 minute opening set and they make the very most of it with a performance that will have won over many new fans from the packed audience. Low Hummer, remember the name, definitely ones to watch.

There really isn’t any surprise however in what comes next, as Manic Street Preachers have grown their reputation on the back of live shows. Starting tonight with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, ‘Orwellian’ and ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’ they instantly bring the crowd into play.

There are plenty of sing-a-long anthems to get through tonight with ‘You Stole the Sun From My Heart’, ‘Everything Must Go’ and ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’ all coming in the first half of the show.

Tonight is also an opportunity to witness the glory of some of the best from ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’. ‘The Secret He Had Missed’, ‘Still Snowing in Sapporo’ and ‘Complicated Illusions’ all shining in amongst the established fan favourites.

WATCH ‘THE SECRET HE HAD MISSED’ ON YOUTUBE
Manic Street Preachers – ‘The Secret He Had Missed’

As the evening gets deep the band then break out a cover of Guns N Roses hit ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’. Why you might ask, but this is the Manic Street Preachers and as we touched on in our album review of ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’ they have earned the right to do whatever they want.

There is still the likes of ‘Tsunami’, ‘You Love Us’ and ‘A Design For Life’ left to bring the evening to a close and as always send the crowd home happy. Long live the Manic Street Preachers!

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Live Reviews

Fontaines D.C.

Cambridge Corn Exchange

Monday 4th October 2021

Fontaines D.C.

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FONTAINES D.C. – CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE – LIVE REVIEW

It’s a little bit dark, a little bit cold and a little bit wet… so, it’s definitely gig season now! Yes, the festivals that brought about the return of live music are consigned to the history books and we now head back indoors.

Tonight the venue is the beautiful Corn Exchange in Cambridge, and the entertainment is provided by Fontaines D.C.!

Up first however is our sole support act for the evening, The Altered Hours. The band perform a set that builds momentum slowly and gathers favour with the audience as it progresses.

Soon enough it is time for our headliners, and the reason for the sold out venue, Fontaines D.C.. When speaking of momentum, there aren’t many bands who have the momentum of Fontaines D.C.. Even through a global pandemic, the band has grown considerably.

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Their second album, ‘A Hero’s Death’ is a major reason for that. After their highly praised debut record, ‘Dogrel’, the pressure was on to create another masterpiece. Where others have failed, Fontaines D.C. succeeded, and now the songs finally get to come to life in the live setting.

Beginning with the title track and ‘A Lucid Dream’ evidences early that these newer songs fit in seamlessly with the older favourites that follow such as ‘Sha Sha Sha’.

The band most definitely are on form tonight, but special mention goes to the audience. It’s been a very long time since a Cambridge audience has been so rowdy. With both band and crowd demonstrably up for it, this evening feels special.

The setlist bounces between the bands two releases and even slower numbers such as ‘I Don’t Belong’ see the audience go crazy and the band reciprocate.

The run of ‘Hurricane Laughter’, ‘Too Real’ and ‘Big’ is absolutely immense and sends the night into overdrive. Set closer ‘Boys in the Better Land’ and encore number ‘Liberty Belle’ finish out a stunning evening of music to send the fans home happy.

As the fans head out into the even darker, even colder and even wetter Cambridge night, they are left to reminisce on a band who’s momentum may mean they aren’t playing venues this size for much longer!

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Live Reviews

Black Stone Cherry

Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Tuesday 28th September 2021

Black Stone Cherry

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International travel restrictions and pandemic related concerns has seen most touring in the UK come from domestic acts. One US based band however that has moved heaven and earth to undertake their scheduled shows is Black Stone Cherry. Not too surprising really as the band were adopted by the UK many years ago.

Black Stone Cherry made their name and grew their brand on UK soil and it’s also no surprise that the show tonight is sold out. There is a mutual love and respect between band and fans and all of that helps to build a great atmosphere at the Corn Exchange in Cambridge.

Before the headliners however normally comes the support. Tonight is no different as Kris Barras Band take to an already packed venue. The band is given a decent length slot to win over those in attendance, and the receptive audience is quickly onboard.

From opening track ‘Dead Horses’ to closer ‘Hail Mary’, Kris Barras and co are able to create a connection with the audience through the medium of rock. Whilst that may sound a tad cheesy, the fact is Barras is the ideal support for this show, with his set being very well received.

Check out our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast

Soon enough it’s time for Black Stone Cherry to grace the stage and they receive a hero’s welcome. The band quickly burst out ‘Me and Mary Jane’, ‘Burnin’ and ‘Again’ for a blistering start to their set.

WATCH ‘AGAIN’ ON YOUTUBE
Black Stone Cherry – ‘Again’

The band now has seven studio albums to draw from and tonight is literally a career-spanning setlist with a least one representative from each album. Sophomore release ‘Folklore and Superstition’ gets the greatest attention tonight with six tracks aired including rarer outings for ‘Yeah Man’ and ‘Devil’s Queen’.

The band had managed to maintain a steady line-up since their formation around 20 years ago, but this year saw the departure of bassist Jon Lawhon. It’s down to Steve Jewell to fill those shoes and tonight he fits in effortlessly as the band remind fans why this country embraced them so early.

Last year saw the release of their latest album, ‘The Human Condition’ and two more tracks are on offer tonight with both ‘Ringin’ in My Head’ and ‘In Love With the Pain’ going over well with the audience. They fit in well with the set staples such as ‘Blind Man’, ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’, ‘White Trash Millionaire’ and ‘Lonely Train’.

All live music still feels special at the moment, but tonight felt extra special. An emotional ‘Things My Father Said’ and stunning ‘Peace Is Free’ perhaps best capturing the moment. It’s great to have international touring acts return to the UK, and it’s fitting for one of the first to be Black Stone Cherry.

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Read our review of ‘Marching In Time’ from Tremonti

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Live Reviews

Bring Me The Horizon

O2 Arena, London

Sunday 26th September 2021

Bring Me The Horizon

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BRING ME THE HORIZON – O2 ARENA – LIVE REVIEW

There is a tangible sense of excitement in the air at the O2 Arena. It may be a Sunday night, we may still be living in a pandemic world, there may be a fuel crisis and summer may be in the rear view mirror but tonight nothing else matters.

Tonight is all about a moment, a spectacle, a band ascending to a higher level. It’s a tired debate now really; are Bring Me The Horizon ready? Are they ready to headline festivals, ready to carry the mantle for heavy music, ready to take over the world?

If their live performances in recent years, their chart successes or even their cultivation of a cult-like fanbase aren’t evidence enough that they are already that band then what is? How about a sold out arena tour? How about another number one record in the form of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’? Well, we are in London to find out.

Read our review of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’

Up first are one of the most exciting young rock bands around, Nova Twins. Delays in entering the venue leave their crowd a little sparse but the attention of those in the venue is fully trained on the fierce power emanating from the stage. It’s a mesmerising performance from a prospective generational band.

Next on the famous stage are a band who previously headlined the venue in 2015. Since then You Me At Six have dabbled with nostalgia and experimented with new directions. It’s that amalgamation of experiences that has born their latest album ‘SUCKAPUNCH’.

Read our review of ‘SUCKAPUNCH’

The majority of their set tonight comes from their own number one album and the likes of ‘SUCKAPUNCH’ and ‘Beautiful Way’ are greeted with audience response equal to favourites ‘Lived A Lie’ and ‘Underdog’.

The highlight however is a certain Oliver Sykes partaking in an epic run through of ‘Bite My Tongue’. Tonight’s atmosphere is special and You Me At Six make the most of it with a performance that could’ve headlined again.

Instead our headline act is Bring Me The Horizon. At times a marmite band, in that you either love them or you hate them. The hate that the band generate these days however seems to come more from jealousy. How dare a band evolve, how dare a fanbase grow, how dare an alternative band enjoy mainstream success!

‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ seems to have swayed a fair few old school fans back into the fold, but the growth of the band comes from more than that. There is a genuine crossover now between the popular crowd and those that like it heavy.

The Linkin Park-esque ‘Teardrops’ is perhaps therefore a fitting opening number. There is then very little ease in the relentless parade of hits. This is a band now that can’t fit all their popular tracks into a single set list.

So the band now has a top class set list. They also have a premium stage show that perfectly fits the narrative of the evening. They can also pull in guest appearances from Nova Twins on ‘1×1’ and YUNGBLUD on ‘Obey’.

By the time the band finish with ‘Throne’ and ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ there isn’t an audience member in the sold out venue left in any doubt that this band has arrived. Bring Me The Horizon already are everything people argue they are or more to the matter are not! End the arguments now, embrace the future and just enjoy a heavy music success story.

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Live Reviews

Black Honey

Norwich Arts Centre

Friday 24th September 2021

Black Honey

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It’s Friday night in Norwich and the area around the Arts Centre is vibrant with pubs, bars and restaurants full of people (plus lots of people queuing for fuel but let’s not get started on that!). Yes, nightlife is back after a devastating 18 months.

Independent music venues and musicians have been hit hard but now we are gathering together in rooms again, things feel like they are healing. The Music Venue Trust continue their amazing work to protect our cultural spaces and tonight is part of the trusts #ReviveLive shows.

On offer is a fantastic band who this year released their second album, Black Honey. There is a very good chance that ‘Written & Directed’ will trouble the very top of our album of the year list when that time arrives. It’s therefore great to see these songs performed in the beautiful and intimate surrounds of Norwich Arts Centre.

Read our review of ‘Written & Directed’ from Black Honey

Opening the festivities this evening is Frances Lion whose hauntingly good support slot captivates the audience. Lion serenades those in attendance with her unique take on the singer-songwriter genre. By the end of her performance the crowd are begging for more, which as an opening act is all you want.

The attention of the audience is soon able to turn to our headliners Black Honey. This is a band that has worked hard to build a solid reputation as a live act. They get the crowd moving from the very start as ‘I Like The Way You Die’, ‘All My Pride’ and ‘Beaches’ set the standard for the evening.

WATCH ‘BEACHES’ ON YOUTUBE
Black Honey – ‘Beaches’

The band has managed to create an extremely impressive back catalogue during their short career which means that they already have tough choices to make when picking a setlist. Tonight is a fine balance between their self-titled debut album and ‘Written & Directed’.

The performance flows naturally and builds momentum throughout. Earlier tracks such as ‘I Only Hurt the Ones I Love’, ‘Somebody Better’ and ‘Cadillac’ segue perfectly with new favourites ‘Summer ’92’, ‘Believer’ and ‘Fire’.

Listen to ‘Believer’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Black Honey are able to hold the audience in the palm of their hands. Their hard work and constant touring has paid off in full, because this is a very good live act. The final run of ‘Spinning Wheel’, ‘Hello Today’, ‘Disinfect’ and ‘Run For Cover’ demonstrate this perfectly.

As the fans head out into the warm September night they are left to reminisce on a superb evening of music (and where they can get some fuel!).

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Live Reviews

The Subways

The Waterfront, Norwich

Thursday 23rd September 2021

The Subways Young For Eternity Tour

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THE SUBWAYS – THE WATERFRONT, NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

The Subways were mid-way through a 15 year anniversary celebration of their debut album ‘Young for Eternity’ when the pandemic hit. An album that catapulted them into the mainstream, garnered much success and gathered a dedicated fan base.

With the second half of the tour postponed, we now find ourselves at The Waterfront in Norwich to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the record!

Before The Subways grace the stage however we have the support act Art Brut. Another band to release their debut album in 2005, Art Brut are a great way to start the show. There are two types of audience member for the band; those familiar with the band and those that take a little while to jump aboard. By the end of their near hour long set however, everyone is on the hype train!

WATCH ‘ROCK & ROLL QUEEN’ 2020 VERSION ON YOUTUBE
The Subways – ‘Rock & Roll Queen’ 2020

Then it’s time for the main event and the spectacle of The Subways playing their seminal debut album in full. The band go the traditional route for this type of performance and play the album from front to back beginning with a sing-a-long of ‘I Want to Hear What You have Got to Say’.

The quality of the album is there for all to see as the likes of ‘Rock & Roll Queen’, ‘Mary’, ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘No Goodbyes’ and ‘With You’ delight the crowd. This is a band that seems criminally undervalued these days. From their songwriting to their ability to deliver those tracks live with such energy and passion, The Subways are a top tier act.

With new drummer Camille Phillips joining Billy Lunn and Charlotte Cooper the band seem to have a new lease of life. This is shown with the penultimate song of the evening, ‘Fight’. The fact that on an evening where we celebrate a 16 year old album, a new song gets one of the best reactions can only be a good thing.

Listen to ‘Fight’ on our Spotify Hot List!

After the album run through, fans are treated to ‘Turnaround’, ‘We Don’t Need Money to Have a Good Time’ and ‘Girls & Boys’ among others before the band finish with another blast of ‘Rock & Roll Queen’.

With new music on the way and the band firing on all cylinders, the future looks bright for The Subways.

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Live Reviews

Royal Blood

UEA LCR, Norwich

Friday 27th August 2021

Royal Blood Tour Poster

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ROYAL BLOOD – UEA LCR, NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

With Royal Blood set to headline some of the first festivals to take place as live music returns, the duo announced a run of intimate warm-up shows. As expected all these shows sold out instantly including tonight at the UEA LCR in Norwich.

With an enormous sense of anticipation surrounding the venue, fans were first treated to a short and intense support slot from Tigercub. The band preview their latest album, ‘As Blue as Indigo’ with ‘Stop Beating on My Heart (Like A Bass Drum)’ and ‘In the Autumn of My Years’ going down particularly well with the already packed audience.

Sometimes with such a high level of expectation for the headline act, support bands can fall short, but tonight Tigercub prove their own credibility and win over some new fans in the process.

Listen to our Spotify Hot List!

Soon enough it’s time for Royal Blood to take to the elevated stage. Kicking off with ‘Typhoons’ and ‘Boilermaker’ the band are backed by a subtle yet highly effective light show that helps to bring this new material to life.

Yes, Royal Blood are another band to release a new album during the absence of live music. Absence clearly making the heart grow fonder for both band and audience, as the UEA dancefloor descends into chaos from the opening note to the very last.

Material from ‘Typhoons’ garners great reactions from an eager audience who are ready and willing to lap up whatever the band can offer. Well, with three albums behind them now, the band can offer an endless stream of fan favourites.

Tonight sees a mix from across their catalogue with ‘Lights Out’, ‘Come On Over’, ‘Little Monster’ and ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ filling the first half of the show with memorable moments.

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Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher always have had a knack for creating magic both on record and on stage but tonight has that extra special feel. Perhaps it’s the atmosphere flamed by the return of live music or perhaps the duo have spent their downtime perfecting their craft. Whatever it is it’s very clear that Royal Blood are simply on another level.

‘Trouble’s Coming’, ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Loose Change’ sound absolutely huge before ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and ‘Limbo’ cause pandemonium in Norwich. The encore of ‘Out of the Black’ and ‘Figure It Out’ bring it all home, remind us of what we’ve all been missing and demonstrate just why Royal Blood are now festival headliners.

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