Gig Review: Royal Republic at The Well Leeds


When it comes to Swedish rock bands, I must admit that my knowledge is limited to one band: The Hives. So when a friend of mine told me that Royal Republic were playing in The Well, stressing mainly their Swedish vibe, I thought I might as well go and check them out.  The Hives are one of my favourite bands live, so I was curious to see if Royal Republic were as crazy as they are.

There were 2 support bands: Darke Horse and Tracer from Sheffield and Australia respectively. Darke Horse had a really good sound, with an amazing drummer and a great guitarist/singer and really catchy songs. I couldn’t ask for more. Tracer are supporting Royal Republic on their European Tour. They’re 3-piece band with a massive sound; a bit bluesy and heavy with a touch of Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters. Really good live as well, ending on a performance of “back-playing” (I don’t know how to say it: basically the guitarist and bassist put their instrument in their back while playing and the drummer turned his back to his drums and kept playing as well. It was amazing.)

"Back Playing"

So far, so good I was already really happy to be there and Royal Republic were just the icing on the cake at that point. But what a great icing! There are just 4 of them but they have such energy and a great sense of humour. I love it when I go to a concert and I see that the band loves being on stage and having fun. And that’s what Royal Republic are all about: fun and rock n’roll. The singer doesn’t only sing, he also says everything that comes to his crazy mind and that’s brilliant. You can be sure that he won’t say it again at another venue. This is the Leeds show and nothing else. What made Leeds quite different to any other show was that they were half way to the end of the tour. So they celebrated it by drinking schnapps and giving a few sips to the public in the front.

Even during technical problems, the band know how to entertain the public by covering some famous songs: Come As You Are, Billie Jean or even God Save the Queen. You never know what to expect and that’s what live music should be about.

In the end, the band didn’t even have the time to go backstage for the traditional encore. Instead they stayed and started playing 2 songs that the public asked for (I’m pretty sure; one of them wasn’t planned, as the singer asked the drummer if they could play it, but it might be trick). After that they stayed for a while shaking hands and saying hello to the public. I managed to get a drumstick and a hand shake from the mad singer. What a rock n’roll night!

I think I might take a closer look at Swedish rock now.

Words by Elise

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