The weekend men do it good on a Saturday night
When, about half an hour into tonight’s high-tempo set, Royal Republic singer Adam Grahn summons the Weekend Man (it’s a thing, apparently, not just the title of the Swedes’ brilliant fourth record, released earlier this year) the energy of Weekend is channelled into him. That’s what he reckons anyway.
More energy is the last thing Grahn or his cohorts need in truth. When they told us that their live gigs came with an “extreme entertainment warning” it had seemed like a throwaway line. It doesn’t be the end of this turbo charged strut of a thing.
A rabid crowd – sold out, jammed in and knowing every single word – leaves the venue sweating and wondering what the hell they’ve just witnessed. As well as Weekend Man, we discuss the fact that McGyver is cooler than Inspector Morse, as well as that Grahn can’t burp and hates beer and coffee. It’s that kind of night.
You suspect that most nights for this foursome are like this actually. And sometimes – 18 times to be exact – a song breaks out, sometimes a brilliant one, like “Walk” or “People Say I’m Over The Top” sometimes a throwaway one like “Underwear”, or the acoustic “Addictive” which is just a little too wacky, but always they are delivered with two key things. First, a passion that is rare and second (probably just as important when it comes to RR) a knowing, shared grin.
All of this is precisely why they are – after six years – ready for a crossover. In the tiny little section in which MV finds itself, the array of tshirts is phenomenal. Slayer to one side, Arch Enemy to the other, Shinedown in front and even – this is meant as no disrespect either – loads of people who look that they wouldn’t be at this type of gig in a month of Sunday’s. And why? Simple. They write songs that connect with people. “Any Given Sunday” is an anthem for the kids who cuddle each other while its played, all sharing their moment, “Kung Fu Lovin'” is just a fabulous song and sometimes you don’t need more.
They afford themselves a four song encore too – after “Baby”- catchier than the flu and a million times more fun – “Here I Come (There You Go)” is superb, while “Full Steam Space Machine” is turned into a communal singalong and is suitably uplifting as a closer.
One of those rare nights when everything just had the right chemistry to make band and fan as one – as was proved by the fact 500 people cheerfully sat down and jumped up again when asked in “Tommy Gun” – Royal Republic are a band just seem to adore what they do. Their singer gives the appearance of a man who just loves life, and the music he makes could cheer anyone up, whether it’s weekend or not.