Tonight is Australian band Tracer and Swedish band Royal Republic at the Underworld. Walking into the venue it's clear that the majority of people are here for the headliners, Royal Republic - a large percentage of the crowd seems to be wearing cardboard crowns bearing the name Royal Republic.
Despite both bands being fairly new to me, they've drawn a big crowd - the venue is completely full, which is impressive for a mid-week gig. Tracer have been getting some good radio airplay recently and their new album (due out the day of the gig) is superb, so I was looking forwards to seeing how they'd be in a live setting.
Almost as soon as they started to play I knew they were going to be good, and that definitely proved to be the case. Tracer play some great music which is best described as a blend of 90s stoner rock and 70s hard rock. The album is great but in a live setting you get a bit more energy and power (plus you get to enjoy the music at a suitably high volume whereas playing it at that volume at home tends to result in unhappy neighbours). The whole set passed in a blur as I concentrated first on taking photos and then on just enjoying the music. Apart from the first single, "Too much", a real highlight of the set was a fantastic cover of the Black Sabbath classic, "War pigs" which had most of the crowd singing along, even most of the ones in Royal Republic crowns. The band went down very well with the crowd, and I suspect it wont be long before we see them playing a festival or playing much larger venues.
After thoroughly enjoying Tracer's set, next up was Royal Republic. Musically they're very different and clearly appeal to a young fanbase judging by most of the people here. Musically they're closer to bands like Franz ferdinand, The kaiser chiefs or arctic monkeys than they are to hard rock or heavy metal. I have to be honest and say that they just didnt appeal to me in the slightest, but the crowd clearly loved them, and a well known music festival director was seen coming to check them out during their set. For most of their set they played their brand of music well, but their butchering of Motorhead's "Ace of spades" was just awful in my opinion (and that of a number of other older audience members judging by their reactions. Good at what they do, but not my taste I'm afraid.
Royal Republic setlist:
The presidents daughter
Good to be bad
Cry baby cry
Walking down the line (acoustic)
I must be out of my mind (acoustic)
Ace of spades
You ain't nobody
All because of you
Full steam spacemachine