PALAYE ROYAL + CARL BARAT + CHARMING LIARS @ THE ROUNDHOUSE, CAMDEN 12TH MARCH 2022
It’s been a long wait for the fans for the return of Palaye Royale since their last show in London back at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in early 2020, with a pandemic crushing the hopes of bands touring from across the pond but, finally, in 2022, the floodgates are opening. A trickle is turning into a flood as major acts announce dates across the UK, and this brings us back to this evening as the band take command of the iconic Camden Roundhouse.
It’s incredible to think that back in 2017, they were playing across the road in the Camden Assembly to a sold-out crowd of 250.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a band with the energy, passion and colour that Palaye Royale possess, never mind the love the crowd has for them, bringing to mind the heyday of the fandom for My Chemical Romance.
Palaye Royale meld the sound and style of classic bands like The Faces, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to 90s Brit-pop and beyond, making it their own. With themes of isolation, anxiety, love and depression, their lyrics speak volumes to the youth, and it shows with a following here made up of teenagers to late 20 somethings.
After two cracking opening sets from Charming Liars and most notably Carl Barât. The Libertines frontman delighted the early comers with a blistering set with a storming run-throughs of ‘Run Run Run’ and the Dirty Pretty Things ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead‘. (You can catch the Dirty Pretty Things at a one-off show at the Electric Ballroom on the 26th of May.)
It was finally time for the headliners, and tonight the rock ‘n’ roll circus is in town. Ringmaster Remington Leith is joined by brothers Sebastian Danzig and Emerson Barrett with bassist Jennie Vee and guitarist Andrew Berkeley Martin fleshing out the full live show band, which then proceed to tear through a 70-minute set of pure highlights from their three albums to date.
Opener, ‘Nightmares‘, verse sounds like Black Sabbath’s War Pigs on acid, which breaks free to an almighty raw of a chorus. The jangling Libertines-esque guitar marks the arrival of the deliriously catchy ‘You’ll Be Fine‘, which is ultimately cut short midway when the vocalist calls for a girl to get some help in the mass of bodies towards the front of the stage. Once the security helps the young girl out of the pit, the band, rather than move on to the following number, pick up from the beginning again, much to the delight of everyone here. ‘Don’t Feel Quite Right‘, ‘Death Dance‘ and the recent single ‘No Love In LA‘ all sound huge, with every word being sung by 3000 voices.
Remington Leith gets the fans to light up the venue with their mobile phones and delivers a beautiful rendition of ‘Dying In A Hot Tub‘. The main set finishes with a double whammy of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers‘ and ‘Mr. Doctor Man‘ from their debut ‘Boom Boom Room (Side A)’, Leith gets the crowd to create a giant circle pit, then lights the touch paper, and all hell breaks loose.
The encore sees the attention move from the stage as Leith takes up the piano set up near the venue’s rear for ‘Lonely‘, giving the fans at the back of the crowd a fantastic close-up of the action. The frontman then takes a tour through the middle of the masses back to the stage and then a run through the balcony area above, finally making it back to the main stage for the finale, which includes a couple of canons firing confetti high into the air to rain down on the elated fans below.
As the crowd disperse and make their way out of the front of the venue, there’s yet another surprise that was hinted at earlier on the group’s social media. Those in the know gather outside to see the brothers perform an acoustic version of ‘Ma Chérie‘ from the venue balcony. It’s a beautiful moment, and what a way to end such an incredible night of music.
Tonight Palaye Royale have expelled enough energy to fuel a small country, with every member putting in 10/10 performances and turning the predominantly female crowd into sweat-drenched versions of their former selves. Judging from this show, this band is only heading in one direction, and that’s skywards!