When it comes to live events, the internet has influenced all manner of variables from picking a setlist or indicating cities to perform in but Scandi quartet Royal Republic have taken things one step further on their current run.

The dapper gents have given their fans the chance to vote on what they wear on each night of the tour. As dodgy as that may sound, the attendees are given a limited choice from a few different variants of colour co-ordinated suits. Tonight it’s a choice between Bitchin Black and Reckless Red, and the latter is the clear winner with 69% of the vote. And since there is a dress code several fans follow suit, if you excuse the pun, by donning their red sequence jackets.

The anticipation for this show has been bubbling over the last twelve months. The date had originally been planned for the start of the year but had to be rescheduled due to logistical challenges around their album release. And now that the band has got their latest offering past the post so to speak they proudly choose to perform the lion’s share of the record, with 9 tracks from the album featuring this evening.

The four-piece takes to the stage, suited and booted and ready for action. Royal Republic kick start the show with a pair of tracks from Club Majesty in the shape of recent single Fireman or Dancer along with the rather catchy Can’t Fight The Disco. And the band’s dazzling neon stage production perfectly fits the nightclub vibe of their latest compositions.

With his Gangs of New York-esque moustache and his mischievous persona frontman, Adam Grahn declares ‘We come here willing to do anything to make you happy tonight’. And that they do. 

Three songs in the band are comfortably in their stride, so much so that drummer Per Andreasson even has his feet up atop of his bass drum as the band launches into Make Love Not War. This being the first of several feisty numbers that spreads the amour throughout Newcastle University. Both the raunchy Under cover and Underwear follows.

This evening Boris Johnson is putting forth his latest EU withdrawal agreement in Parliament and as such we should expect a certain degree of mockery from our Swedish counterparts. Grahn jokes ‘I am starving, I didn’t even have Brexit – I mean breakfast this morning’. I guess on a day like today we had that one coming. 

Royal Republic are completely embracing their guilty pleasures with their latest record. The band plays without boundaries and it shows. Anthems such as Full Steam Spacemachine and Tommy-Gun are still present, but strangely enough, they also work so well alongside the band’s more recent material.

The final third of the set draws further from Club Majesty including the funky Like A Lover, the catchy pop-rock sounds of Boomerang and their attempt at Rammstein meets Tom Petty via Fortune Favours. But it’s main set closer Anna Leigh which stands out as being a bit different. This being a track that could quite easily garner mainstream radio airplay.

But they aren’t done just yet. A three-song encore, that includes fan favourite When I See You Dance With Another, a remarkable cover of Iron Maiden’s Fear of the Dark and the anthemic Baby closes out the band’s no messing set to great effect.

It may have been a long time coming, but Royal Republic’s return to Tyneside was certainly worth the wait.

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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