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Mini Mansions and Royal Blood - Review

Upcoming indie band Mini Mansions opened the show in style, setting the scene for heavy Brighton rockers Royal Blood at the Portsmouth Guildhall last night.

Mini Mansions, a three-piece indie band from LA, opened the night with a stomping set. They included hit songs such as ‘Monk’, a psychedelic rampage with a amazingly catchy hook, and other catchy hits which really set the scene for the evening.

One of the things that struck me was the talent of drummer Zach Dawes, who played the drums standing up with amazing skill and also sung at the same time- no mean feat! Sadly, one of the let downs of Mini Mansions was not their fault but their style was in no way similar to that of Royal Blood who they supported- which left the crowd slightly nonplussed.

However, I personally felt that they would have been better received supporting the likes of either Arctic Monkeys or Temples. That said, their set was brilliant and musically complex, with haunting vocals and a stomping bass line from Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman.

Royal Blood- wow. This duo know how to get a crowd going! Opening with ‘Hole’, the crowd went wild. Never before have I been to such a rough concert- despite this, it was honestly one of the best concerts I’ve been to. The BRIT award winners were on top form.

The set included their entire first album with crowd pleasers such as ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’, ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Out of the Black’. Their performance was note perfect, absolutely stunningly energetic and passionate, making this truly a night to remember.

For me, one of the highlights of the night was their cover of T.Rex’s ’20th Century Boy’, which was a welcome surprise and sent the crowd into over-drive - a real crowd-pleaser.

Ben Thatcher’s drumming was impressive, he never missed a beat and the sheer energy of the performance really was quite something; with Mike’s vocals and bass playing being nothing short of incredible- the whole set was perfect.

The Brighton boys certainly impressed; Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher are definitely destined for greatness. The real question is whether they can follow up such a groundbreaking first album, or whether they have set the bar too high.