Radio 1’s Big Weekend is bringing hard rock back to the airwaves. Earlier this week saw Wolf Alice play an incendiary version on ‘Smile’ for the program, and now Brighton groove masters Royal Blood take their turn with a performance of their single ‘Boilermaker’.
One of the major draws of Royal Blood is their simplicity: two guys, two instruments, and a whole lot of noise. Singer Mike Kerr’s famous deference towards bass guitars over more traditionally melodic instruments keep the band firmly rooted in groove-centric rock and roll, with the emphasis on “roll”. It’s not often that a band can be pummeling and funky at the same time, but Kerr and fellow rhythm section auteur Ben Thatcher always keep the emphasis on the backbeat.
‘Boilermaker’ is the perfect crossroads between the riff-rocking rock god strut of Jack White and the down-and-dirty stoner rock of Queens of the Stone Age. Queens leader Josh Homme was the producer for ‘Boilermaker’, shaping the song’s down-tuned tones that are right at home with the boys in Royal Blood. As Kerr rattles off some blues-adjacent vocal lines about devils eyes and magic hands, redemption is found at the bottom of the eponymous drink.
It’s all good rollicking rock and roll from a band that specialises in the art form. There’s always the question of “where have all the good rock bands gone?” I absolutely abhor that train of thought, only because I could name at least 20 amazing rock acts that can satiate any fan of distorted guitars and gigantic live drums. Royal Blood would be one of them, carrying the torch as a big-time rock band who know how to shake the walls and leave you wanting more. Basically, if you’re still asking the question at the beginning of this paragraph, you’re simply not looking hard enough.
Check out Royal Blood’s performance of ‘Boilermaker’ down below.