“Who likes rock music? Nine people. Brilliant.”
Those seven words will likely follow Royal Blood around for a while. Once upon a time, their cringey spat with a Radio 1 Big Weekend crowd that they thought wasn’t paying their band enough attention would have been simply the sort of low-level gobshiting the nation expected of its rock stars.
Yet it prompted an online backlash that, in a more sensible world, would be reserved for doing something really heinous, like tanking Britain’s economy, or leaving empty After Eight wrappers in the box.
Because, if we’re only going to listen to musicians who never occasionally act like a bit of a dick, we might as well shut down Kerrang! and launch Rick Astley Appreciation Weekly. And, as it turns out, Royal Blood are much better at playing rock music than they are at throwing onstage strops.
Indeed, it’s ironic that Mike Kerr’s meltdown happened while being ‘ignored’ at a big pop event, because Royal Blood have done more than most to make sure alt.rock remains in that mainstream consciousness.
Their self-titled 2014 debut reinvented hard rock for a new generation, while 2021’s Typhoons proved they could add an electronic edge without losing their elemental power.