Bloodstock Festival 2023 – Saturday. Sweden’s Royal Republic are a band that is more pop-rock than Metal and would not normally be thought of as standard Bloodstock fare. But in reality, they more than deserved their slot on Saturday afternoon.
Bloodstock – Royal Republic
Royal Republic is a band with their tongue firmly in their cheek, and they were intent on having a good time. If Bloodstock wasn’t bringing the party to them, then they would take the party to Bloodstock.
With guitarist and lead singer Adam Grahn looking like David Walliams long lost brother and sporting a Freddie Mercury-style moustache, he brought the zaniness of their show to a new level. Think Cheap Tricks Rick Nielsen on speed.
With four albums and a plethora of singles under their belts, they more than had the material to ensure that everyone had a good time. Trust me, they did. There was probably more dancing, leaping and cavorting in the pit than moshing for their forty-five-minute slot.
Opening with Fireman And Dancer from Club Majesty, their latest studio album, it was clear that there was nothing here but a good time to be had, and Bloodstock embraced it with gusto.
With next song Rata Tata bringing the poppiness and dance floor to the arena, there was no choice but to discard your inhibitions and let everything go. After all, everyone else did.
With a keytar appearing for the unbelievable pop punk funk of Stop Movin’ and the singalong chorus of “I would stop movin’ if I could stop movin,” it became clear that the party was now in full flow. Trust me, the sight of corpse-painted Metallers waving their arms in the air and boogying away was a sight to behold.
Full Steam Space Machine took the punk poppiness up a new level with singer Adam Grahn strutting around the stage with complete campness and with guitarists Hannes Irengård and Jonas Almén going full Status Quo meets The Shadows with their synchronised guitar walks.
Of course, they had to play their hit single, Tommy Gun, much to the delight of the audience, who were leaping around manically to the jagged guitar licks emanating from the band.
With Adam making a statement that “we’re not really a Heavy Metal band, although we wanted to be one, and if we were, we’d sound something like this,” they blasted into a short but intense cover of Metallica’s Battery.
This did have the impact of turning the dancing hordes back into moshing hordes, but it was clear that this was just a brief Metal interlude as they closed the set with the singalong Baby.
This wasn’t their first festival show in the UK, having played Download previously, and on this performance, it clearly won’t be the last. This was a band that really knew how to have a good time, and their infectiousness was clearly catching.
On this performance, Bloodstock should perhaps consider a close-out slot on the Sophie stage. They would be the perfect end to any night, and I can see the dancing carrying on through the campsites well into the early hours.
Bloodstock Festival 2023 is held over the weekend of 10-13 August 2023. MetalTalk’s Paul Hutchings and Adrian Stonley report from Catton Park.
All MetalTalk Bloodstock Festival 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2023.
Weekend early bird tickets for Bloodstock 2024 will be available to purchase at the box office on-site for £165. This is the cheapest way to buy a 2024 ticket, minus any online booking or admin fees.
Bloodstock 2022 can be relived at MetalTalk.net/tag/bloodstock-2022.