The thunder rolls into Birmingham in the wind and rain – and Damian is blown away
It`s a wet, windy and truly cold evening in the UK`s second city and a night to just stay at home, wrap up and keep warm but Royal Thunder happen to be in town. If you don`t already know Royal Thunder are a hard Rock band from Atlanta, Georgia formed in 2004 by guitarist Josh Weaver. They take their primary influence from classic rock and 90`s grunge with elements of progressive rock and psychedelic rock blended together to make a unique sound. Along with Josh, there`s Mlny Parsonz on vocals and bass, Evan Diprima on drums and Will Fiore on guitar. They are over in Europe to promote their latest release `Wick` which is the follow up to 2015`s `Crooked Doors`
There is no fuss, or fanfare, as the band just arrive on stage, tune up and it`s straight into “Burning Tree” from said release. The songs fly thick and fast with menacing ferocity such as “April Showers” and the mesmerising “Low.”
There is an intensity that`s almost palpable. It`s like a physical wall of noise when the band jam. We get a mix of up tempo numbers like “Tied” and “The Sinking Chair” and a wonderful Bluesy Number “Mouth Of Fire”, which really highlights the depth of Mlny`s extraordinary vocal range. The band perform their songs with an almost primeval power and passion. Indeed, Mlny sings with such a force that it seems as if her life depends on this show. I loved the ying yang effect of the guitarists with John bouncing around the stage, whilst at the other side Will is standing there, almost nonchalantly chugging away. Erstwhile, Evan pounds away on the skins as if he`s on a mission to beat them to a pulp. “Hotel Bend” and “Forgive Me, Karma” are shared before the enthralling “Personz Curse” closes out the show. The band bow out and before leaving the stage they embrace for an emotional group hug. A sort of cluster recognition of a job well done.
Will and Mlny remain on stage and gift us with a gut wrenching acoustic version of “Plains” as a sort of encore. Her voice has the resonance of the late, great Janis Joplin. There have been few artists that have poured so much emotion into a show and I can only remember the wonderful Patti Smith coming anywhere near in all my years of gigging. I was really blown away by this hypnotic, enthralling and spellbinding presentation. Get to see this band while they are still destroying small venues. They deserve to be massive.
Royal Thunder certainly delivered a regal performance tonight.