Royal Blood was a last-minute addition to BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend music festival, and the rock duo made quite the impression on the crowd.
Royal Blood — consisting of Mike Kerr on vocals and bass, and Ben Thatcher on drums — were added as an 11th-hour replacement for the festival, which was dominated by such pop acts as Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan.
Given that Royal Blood’s hard-driving rock is as far from pop as it gets, Kerr offered a cheeky intro when they took to the stage.
“I guess I should actually introduce ourselves seeing as no one actually knows who we are. We’re called Royal Blood and this is rock music,” Kerr told the crowd, receiving a tepid response.
“Who likes rock music?” he asked, met by a smattering of applause. “Nine people,” he quipped. “Brilliant.”
Kerr continued by mocking the crowd. “We’re having to clap ourselves because that was so pathetic,” Kerr he told the audience, before turning to the onstage camera operator and asking, “Will you clap for us? Will you clap? You’re busy. Can you clap? Yes, even he’s clapping. What does that say about you?”
At the end of the set, Kerr flung his bass onto the stage and extended both middle fingers high in the air as he strolled off.
Royal Blood making their feelings known about the crowd at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend yesterday 😂
— The Rock Revival (@TheRockRevival_) May 29, 2023
During a subsequent appearance on BBC’s Radio 1, which sponsored the show, Kerr admitted that flipping off the audience was “stupid.”
“It was a moment of madness that has gotten out of control, I think. And we actually love the gig. We love playing music, and we love doing what we do. So it’s been a bit of a mad week to come out of this,” added Thatcher.
While neither actually apologized, Kerr did say, “I’m amazed, honestly, at how that escalated to that kind of size. I think walking off from that show I felt I was being entertaining in a way of trying to lighten the situation, perhaps. I was doing a performance where I felt a little out of place. I expected to be a little bit bemused and maybe confuse a few people, but not to that kind of scale. Yeah, pretty wild.”
He added: “It was somewhat of a blip on my part because it would have taken me three minutes to think, ‘Oh, maybe these people don’t know who you are.’ But I wasn’t going through that thought process. I was, like, very pumped backstage. And I actually really enjoyed playing. I had a great time. The ending, to me, I felt like a sort of pro wrestler. I was sort of walking off like — I felt like a sort of pantomime villain. I didn’t feel like I’d done anything morally wrong. I felt like a bit of a windup, honestly. That’s how I felt.”
Were they being rude, was it all a joke, and how do they feel after being an international talking point for days on end? pic.twitter.com/MxoEVAVbkn
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) June 5, 2023