Live Review: Palaye Royale - Electric Brixton, London 07/10/2018
Move over emo! Fashion-art rock is the new home for the misunderstood youth and Palaye Royale are the unanimous Kings of the genre.
The Canadian band of brothers, Remington (vocals), Sebastian (guitar) and Emerson (drums) sold out their first UK headline tour with London's Brixton Electric playing the host for the final night, and I am not alone in saying that I am still reeling from post gig blues.
Throughout the night Remington couldn't convey enough how special this night was to them all, less then a year ago they played to 250 people in London, tonight it's a sold out 1500 strong crowd full of Soldiers of the Royal Council, the collective name for their legion of fans. This is a childhood dream come true!
From the moment they walked out on that stage, the whole room did not stop moving. At times I could feel the floor boards shake beneath my feet. The energy and the atmosphere was infectious, I was a lone casual observer standing at the edge of the crowd, but all I wanted to do was run into the crowd waving my hands into the air and dance.
Palaye Royale played a spectacular 90 minute set with songs taken from their two studio albums, Boom Boom Room (Side A) & (Side B). “Don't Feel Quite Right” and “My Youth Generation” are fine opening tracks with Emerson's drum beats powering through while Sebastian swooned the crowd at the barrier with his luscious Gretsch guitar. “You'll Be Fine” really brought the crowd alive with it's frantic beat and Remington's ferocious vocals being on fine form. My personal favourite songs from the night included “Dying In A Hot Tub”, the emotional lyrics talk about battling depression, set against a backdrop of swirling guitar licks. Remington taking theatrics quite literally as he wrapped his microphone cord around his neck, a small act that just captivates your attention. “Death Dance” had the whole crowd singing and dancing, with it's ska beat, hand claps and it's incredible infectious lyrics “We live in an age where all our bodies are flawed / We live in an age were sex and whores are God”. “Mr Doctor Man” has their most recognising opening riff and the percussion really drives the crowd. Emerson took a break from behind the drums during a stripped back, gentler version of “Ma Cherie” which saw roses being thrown onto the stage from the crowd. The spotlight rightfully landed on Remington showcasing his emotionally raw vocals. It was a beautiful moment and it was great to see the guys giving back the roses that landed on the stage. In keeping with tradition, both Remington and Sebastian took time to scale atop the speaker stack to the left of the stage, Sebastian still with the Gretsch in hand, how he didn't break an ankle on his descent I shall never know.
Watching them on stage, it's like they travelled back in time and brought back with them all the best bits of music from the 60's, 70's and even 80's. I see influences from The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Hanoi Rocks, David Bowie and L.A Guns all blended in with more contemporary bands like AFI, My Chemical Romance (the guys even throw in their own rendition of Teenagers during their set) and I even hear a bit of The Fratellis and The Kooks indie vibes in there.
It could be because of this perfect blend of musical genres that has granted them such a strong following but in reality, while their music and aesthetics will turn heads and many speakers to max, it is their openness and compassion that they share with the fans which converts a casual listener to a devoted follower. There were many acts of kindness on show throughout the evening. Watching side of stage was a member of The Royale Council, who tragically lost her twin sister only a few weeks prior to the show, she was now their guest of honour and I could see the tears in her eyes as she watched on. Remington took a pause during their performance to ensure security were appropriately handing a situation involving a female fan in the crowd. The finale saw Emerson handing out practically everything he could get his hands on, including one of his drums (which he destroyed in spectacular fashion at the end of their set), his jacket made it out into the crowd as well as some sought after eyeshadow pallets created by the band (kudos for Merch 101 right there). Emerson expressed on social media later that the fans are just as much a part of the band as they are and in an attempt to break down the barriers between fans and the artists he wanted to give as much as he could back to them. Remington expressed, quite sincerely, how he feels so at home here in the UK.
The night was one that will sit within the hearts of many for years to come. Next time they return on a headline tour I want them to throw in Clockwork (those vocals), Love the Void (because we can easily fit in more dancing), Where Is the Boom (for more sing-alongs), Rag Doll (for that guitar solo) and Primary Propaganda (because a fashion-art band needs more orchestral strings). 90 minutes just isn't enough boys!
Palaye Royale will return to the UK in January as support for Enter Shikari.
Words and Photography by Rachel Prew