Music Opinion

British band Royal Blood gives Scottish fans the finger

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Mike Kerr from Royal Blood on stage – briefly – during BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend (Screenshot via YouTube)

Why did British rock duo Royal Blood get stroppy last week and diss an audience in Scotland? Because people weren't 'enthusiastic enough'. Yes. Really.


For context: it was BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend (R1BW) in Dundee. Dundee crowds are notoriously hard to please... apparently. BBC Radio 1 is the biggest pop music radio station in the UK and the gig had a relatively young audience of pop music fans.

So a poundingly loud, riff-heavy rock band being received with a lukewarm, bemused reception was almost guaranteed. And yet, in a sulky display of ill humour, lead singer Mike Kerr chastised the crowd about their lack of enthusiasm.

Footage from the show proves that the crowd were, in fact, getting into the set, but that wasn’t enough for Kerr, who said:

“Who likes rock music? Nine people. Brilliant.”

And with that, Royal Blood walked off stage, giving the crowd the middle finger.

Last time I checked, the battle between “real music” and anything else was a thing of the past. Rock music, as a superior art form and the attendant prejudice that goes along with it, is all but done and dusted in the 21st Century.

If the annual Triple J Requestival (a week-long “listeners-pick-the-music” event) has taught us anything, younger generations – and broadly speaking, large portions of the population – don’t have such regimented, homogenous music tastes. Anything is up for appreciation.

Royal Blood would have been better to put on a good show: win the crowd over with hard work instead of whinging. Their music is arguably good enough to blow an audience away — had they just gotten on with it.

As Joe Goggins wrote in Rolling Stone last week:

'... sneering petulance is no longer very rock and roll and that entitlement is deeply uncool in an age where just scraping by as a musician is more difficult than ever.'

But Frank Zappa said it best:

'Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar.'


Indie Folk rockers from Newcastle NSW sundown ever sundown have released a new single that eloquently captures the terror and paranoia of a night out in the big smoke and being unable to get home, either due to getting lost and/or getting to Central Station after the last train up the coast has left for the night.

'Lost In Sydney' has a sound that is gloriously lo-fi. It has a bedroom-recorded pop vibe that harks back to those great indie records released on labels like Phantom Records and Half a Cow in the '80s and '90s.


Space Traffic labels its sound as “dream rock”.

The band hails from the Aosta Valley in Northwestern Italy, up near the country’s ski resort region. And perhaps it's the icy climate that gives a moody vibe to their music. 

Latest single, 'Pictures', is a riff rocker with a psych vibe in the solos. Perfect for those who miss that Hawkwind-style sonic exploration in their music.


Alex Lahey returns with her third album, The Answer is Always Yes, proving herself as a creator of music one could trademark "quality”.

You can't go wrong with any of her albums. This track, 'The Sky is Melting,' is a masterclass in songwriting, especially in how to write a melody that emphasises pain and heartbreak.

The production on this new record is crisp and sharp and should make an appearance on quite a few “best albums of 2023” lists.


Drive-By Truckers''Outfit' is a classic in some circles, known as one of the best songs band member and alt-country singer Jason Isbell ever wrote. The thing is, it’s not seen as a classic in terms of musical influence and I think it deserves to be.

It was written by a young Isbell, chronicling the wisdom and life circumstances of his father. It’s beautifully penned and performed, and I’m sure there’s some advice there that we can all take away.


David Kowalski is a writer, musician, educator, sound engineer and podcaster. His podcasts 'The Sound and the Fury Podcast' and 'Audio Cumulus' can be heard exclusively here. You can follow David on Twitter @sound_fury_pod.

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