Well, these lads are one of my favorite bands at the moment and another one of the U.K.’s finest right now. I’ve been lucky enough to catch them live a few times at festivals and a few of their own shows throughout the U.K. To see them at a venue like the Bristol o2, and to witness another flawless performance, is proof enough that they are a class act. The band have all the elements to make any fan of heavy music get involved, from their catchy guitar riffs through to amazing solos. Drummer Liam Kearley is just outstanding in my book. Just listen and you can tell from the odd timing beats and the power in the hard-hitting choruses, he’s a drummer to watch.
Their live performance is delivered so well. Vocalist Will Gardner commands the crowd and stage the way he does by jumping down into the press area and standing up on the barrier to deliver the lyrics from “Glass Built Castles” (which is one of my personal favorites and a good tune to check out to get you into them). With the recent release of their latest album ‘All That Divides,’ (on Rise Records) and the backing they have had from BBC Radio, they are a band to watch out for in 2019 as bigger things await. If you want to read more about them, just check my old review from Fat Lip Festival 2018.
These guys have been in the media a lot recently, and rightfully so, as they are a class act. Before I get stuck in, they played a show in North Wales at Venue Cymru and were not warned about the following: Basically, most nights lead vocalist Remington Leith gets off the stage and joins the crowd. When doing so, the venue pulled the plug and forced the band to exit the stage (apparently for safety reasons). Wow, just wow – what is the world coming to? They will be asking bands to wear Hi-Viz jackets and construction helmets next at gigs – ridiculous. Well, similar happened tonight at the Bristol o2. More on that coming up.
Immediately, as the band appeared, they were greeted with one of the loudest cheers I’ve heard there. It’s just amazing to see this reception for the second act on the bill. With the intro of their first song of the set, “Don’t Feel Quite Right,” and the audience singing back the lyrics, it just proves what stamp on the music scene they have already. When they started their second song “You’ll Be Fine,“ the place erupted, and that fed back to the stage. You could just tell the band enjoyed every minute of the warm reception they were receiving. This band has everything down to the style in the way they dress, stage presence, and phenomenal energy – definitely ones to watch for the future. I prefer them live to be honest. There is nothing wrong with the recordings, but live – listening and watching with my eyes and ears – takes them to a whole new level. Well, next year or the end of this year I will be surprised if Palaye Royale are not playing massive venues on a sold-out headline tour.
To finish the story, Leith waited until the second to last song before he entered the audience, ran upstairs, climbed over the barrier, and asked the audience to make a gap. He then jumped off to land on the floor and finish the song in the audience before returning to the stage for the last song. Straight after their set ended, all the band were chucked out of the venue, and according to a contact of mine, they have been told they cannot play the last three o2 venues on this tour. My honest opinion on this is that I think it’s a little too far. This is what bands do and have done for years. Health and safety have just gone a bit crazy as of late. I say good on them and Leith. Keep doing what you do.
I’ve seen Enter Shikari many times before, and I personally prefer the real old days when they were a lot heavier – that was also when they were a lot younger. To think I used to watch them in venues of around 100 people, and now they are doing a headline tour with a lot of sold-out dates in venues like the o2, is so awesome.
The stage setup with mirrors and beading lights down the sides, and the futuristic looking keyboard onstage with white drum kit, looked absolutely stunning. The set list was a good mixture, with a lot off the latest album ‘The Spark,’ but highlights for me were when they played “Hectic” and “Step Up” – and there were a lot of old fans here who enjoyed that. Also, two confetti cannons went off at the end of the track “Step Up,” which is an old classic. I wish they would be more like that now, but the fact is they are really good musicians and song writers, and the more modern, stripped-back sound of now is doing them well. Don’t get me wrong, they still have elements of the old days with shouty parts and heavy riffs – just not enough. Also, I have been absent from seeing them live for quite some time, and as I said above, to see where they are now is outstanding and I wish them all the best. They put on a great show and are also visually amazing to watch. I would love to see this on a bigger scale, for sure, as I could imagine the stage show to be as great looking as Muse.
All in all, it was an amazing night and I just want to bring to your attention that we all need to get out to smaller venues to help the new up-and-coming bands get to this level and to keep the small venues open. There are a lot of venues closing down across the U.K. right now and these bands can’t grow without these places. Please support your local venue.
Until next time, Metal Nexus readers: get out, mingle, and have a good time.