Live Review: Palaye Royale + Yonaka + Starbenders @ Hammersmith Apollo

Tonights show marks the penultimate date on the UK portion of Palaye Royale’s Fever Dream Tour and we are in a different venue than scheduled due to Brixton’s ongoing licencing issues and it is the Hammersmith Apollo that is now host.

The Apollo is full and excitement is rife in the air as tonight’s openers Starbenders strut onto the stage. They immediately have the crowd eating out of their palms with their abundance of rock and roll prowess. Personality pours out of every pore of this Atlanta four piece, and they transport you into their own world of punk glam rock and roll. Singer Kimmy Shelter is mesmerising and her voice a heady cocktail of soft and sweet, gritty and raw. They clearly live and breathe the music and it shows in their explosive performance, connected to each other and interacting throughout they totally nail this opening. The crowd is familiar with their work and cheer and sing along enthusiastically, with singles ‘Blood Moon’ a glorious fast paced track bursting with attitude and ‘Holy Mother’ which is a firm fan favourite. They could easily be headlining shows and when they do I’ll be in the front row cheering them on.

Having had to bow out of the first two dates of the UK leg tonight sees the return of Brighton band Yonaka to the line-up and they have come to kick ass! Lead singer Theresa Jarvis is raring to go after missing two shows and they explode into their performance clearly on a mission. These guys go hard and heavy taking no prisoners. Theresa exudes cool as she stalks her stage and its clear they have many fans in attendance but their set is unfortunately interrupted on two separate occasions due to issues in the crowd which does break up their momentum a little but in no way detracts from their talent. Clear favourite tune of the set is ‘Rockstar’ the whole room is jumping and singing along and now this high spirited crowd is well and truly warmed up.

One thing you can be sure of at a Palaye Royale show is that they will give you their ALL. Sickness has been rampaging through camp Royale the last few days but they have powered through to ensure the shows all went ahead. Tonight’s venue has housed many of the band’s influences over the years and perhaps most significantly David Bowie performed as Ziggy Stardust for the last time on this very stage. The band brought on board make-up artist Emm Mae well known for her Palaye Royale inspired looks, for their UK shows and in honour of Ziggy she created a wonderful adaptation of the iconic lightning bolt make-up for front man Remington Leith who wore it perfectly, paired with his own style – leather trousers and a fur collared jacket – Palaye are after all fashion rock.

He struts into view and his powerful vocal rips through the air bringing the room to a collective fever pitch (dream) of excitement. Every member of the band is exuding high energy and just wonderful to witness, each bringing their own personalities and dynamism and showing a clear love for each other and what they do. Singer Remington, Guitarist Sebastian and Drummer Emerson are brothers but every band member on that stage is family. ‘Fever Dream’ was an instant hit upon its release and every song is met with the same reaction – raised hands and singing at the top of their lungs. Long-time favourites such as ‘Fucking with My Head’ and ‘Mr Doctor Man’ run alongside new tracks ‘King of The Damned’ and ‘Broken’ effortlessly. I don’t think I know anyone who goes as hard or has the stamina that Remington does, it seems boundless as he struts, runs and crawls around the stage without room for a breath, a true showman through and through. As always it is onwards and upwards for this band of brothers who are currently taking Europe by storm as they continue on with this their ‘Fever Dream’.

Review & All Photographs By Rebecca Bush