Royal Republic – Thekla, Bristol 6/10 Support: Bleeker & Dinosaur Pile-Up

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It’s just past midnight, I’m in bed after an amazing gig and I’m trying to find the words to describe it. The gig I can probably describe, with my usual superlatives, but the whole experience was so much more emotional than I’m… well, used to.

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This is a band that I first saw supporting Sherlock Brothers at their release party at Harry B James in 2009. Just the fact that they’ve been billed before Sherlock Brothers on a night is weird to think about now. Then of course there was the Bandit Rock (Swedish radio station) tours/cruises/parties where Royal Republic played, the very, very funny Kill Hannah tour (where My Passion also supported, hilarious) and the small headline shows around Sweden… In my head the headline shows were in 2012 and 2013, but I’m a year off. They were in 2011 and 2012?? How the hell did time pass so quickly? How have I not seen them since?

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But I’m making up for it this year, and to start it out by attending the first 3 dates of a pretty much sold out UK tour is just insane. They’ve grown so much as performers and well and truly deserve every good thing coming their way, with the crazy amounts of hard work they’ve put in!

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The show itself, tonight, was excellent. At least from the people on stage. The audience however… Come on Bristol? One of the most boring crowds I’ve ever had the displeasure of being in. I get that it’s not the weekend, but come ooonnn. Not even the clapping got going? I also had a big problem with the one man band-syndrome. Sure, Adam is a really great frontman and he is great on stage BUT, there also happens to be three other band members on the same stage and they are fucking brilliant. How about maybe the tiniest little bit of light on them? I understand not all venues are easy for lights, but there were at least four different spotlights in the ceiling and they damn well managed to point at different parts of the stage for the support acts. As for these two sticking points, I have high hopes for the next two gigs. Lighting-wise, sure, but mainly audience-wise. Both shows are sold out and they’re on a Friday and Saturday so no excuses! Time to lose your minds peeps.

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But enough of the bitching and moaning. Royal Republic were awesome. They rock. The setlist was well packed with a balanced choice of songs, and I only realised which ones I was missing when I read back in the blog and saw setlists from years ago. Basically the best review I can give, because there will always be songs missing (where the HELL was Sailing Man? And Let Your Hair Down? And… anyway..). So you released an album that you’re now touring? What do I care, just play 35 songs and get them all in there! One can but dream… That said, the current set is 18 songs (if I counted correctly) AND the last four is encore of my dreams. Seriously what I would’ve put there if I was free to choose. I’ll put a setlist photo up after tomorrow! Side note: Weekend Man is a fabulous headbanging song! I commend Adam for his chat skills as well (how on earth do you say mellansnack in English?), bringing the Swedish sarcasm to England. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, and of when you add the charisma and personality of not only Adam, but the whole band and their dynamic, well, you end up with an extremely well put together show. Can’t wait to see how tomorrow turns out!

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The support acts tonight, Bleeker and Dinosaur Pile-Up, were brilliant. Of course that lended the whole evening an extra point or two, because how often do you get not only one good support, but TWO? I’d say pretty much never. Bleeker were first out and oh my god. I was completely bowled over. The star quality was over the top, apparent when the first support does a band introduction. Loved it. Just seen that they’re supporting on the whole UK tour and well, time to get this party on! After them Dinosaur Pile-Up took the stage and they were equally great, if in a different way. Not what I’d call my kind of music, very grungy, but maybe I’ve been converted now? Looking forward to seeing them, both on the rest of the UK tour and also on the Swedish leg… Not that I’m doing that.. of course. That would be crazy…

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Now I’m in London and it’s high time to start getting ready for tonight, so I can start fretting about queueing! What would life be without queue stress?

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