Live Review: Palaye Royale – KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton 12.02.2023 Plus Gallery

A speedy 30 minutes after the doors open, the queue that once snaked around the building has made it’s way into the venue; the lights dim and a dance track fills the room as we wait for our first act on the night to enter the stage. Starbenders are a high energy glam rock band that know exactly how to get a crowd on their side and warm everyone up for what we’re about to experience. Their aesthetic is all part of the fun; it doesn’t take long for them to prove that they’re much than their looks though as the talent of this 4 piece makes it way to centre stage quickly with clean instrumentals and a unique sound that you can’t help but move along to. As 3/4 of the band leaves the stage, guitarist Kriss Tokaji is left to fill the silence which he does with ease, leaving the audience squealing like teenage girls at a One Direction concert. Kimi Shelter, Aaron Lecesne, Emily Moon join Kriss back on stage for the rest of their set (which has been extended due to second support Yonaka pulling out due to sickness) and their last song ‘If You Need It’ gets everyone in the room clapping along, primed but no where near ready for what they are about to be a part of.

Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis is probably one of the last songs I would’ve expected Palaye Royale to enter the stage too but the crowd love it regardless. There isn’t a single voice in the room who isn’t singing every word back to Palaye for this entire set and from the first note, they give a consistent energy that’s hard to beat. Guitarist Sebastian Danzig is the first to jump from the stage to the barrier and interact with the fans that waited in the cold to get a barrier spot. It’s clear to see that the brothers (& live additions) make the most of every second they have on stage and lap up this audience’s adoration of them all. It doesn’t take front man Remington Leith & Sebastian long to let us know that KK’s Steel Mill has a special place in their heart as the venue took them in when the o2 Academy wouldn’t have them, giving us a quick “we hate all o2 Academy’s” before moving on to ‘Fucking With My Head‘. This is where we get the first of two Palaye Royale induced pits with Remington calling for the audience to split into two before unleashing hell when the chorus kicks in.

The entire show oozes gorgeousness; from production to energy to outfits, it’s clear that every person who sets foot on this stage is born to be there. ‘King of the Damned‘ needs to be experience to truly be believed. Anyone who has witnessed a PR show before knows what’s in store but for those who don’t this is a truly unique experience. Our front man takes to a blow up boat to crowd surf whilst simultaneously spitting water over anyone who was below. As he reaches the middle of the venue, he climbs the steelwork of the building and hangs there assessing his next move before getting back in his dingy and sailing back to stage. This debacle does not phase this audience and their ability to match the energy exuding off stage is admirable. Whilst Yonaka’s drop out is certainly disappointing, we do get one thing from it. An extended setlist from both Starbenders & Palaye Royale and my personal favourite song of Palaye‘s; ‘Dying in a Hot Tub‘. The introduction of this song is met with a huge cheer though it doesn’t receive the same welcome as others.

Here is where we’re given a little interlude before heading into ‘Oblivion‘ which is the only slow song of the night. The audience stuns as 1,600 voices sing back to the stripped back version. At this point, Remington is the only member on stage making this track feel incredibly intimate. He then welcomes his brothers back on stage as we’re treated to a dramatic entrance to ‘Punching Bag‘ which brings every ounce of energy back to the room. I can’t help but be a little worried about how much pyro is near so much hairspray but you can tell that this is what they’re use to. ‘Mr Doctor Man‘ easily takes the spot as the loudest song of the night in an otherwise pretty consistent room. It’s now time for an otherwise inconspicuous Emerson Barrett to have his moment. Palaye manage to work in a cover of The Doors ‘People are Strange’ whilst Remington splits the crowd again. Emerson jumps into this bunch of gig goers and rocks out to his hearts content as remaining band members & stand in drummer turn everything up to 11 for the remainder of ‘Mr Doctor Man‘.

There’s no way they’re turning the energy down now and “off with the head” is chanted back to the stage in an almost army like style. The outro of ‘Off With The Head‘ gets every hand in the air and the audience are showered in confetti. The softer end to this song culminates in pure talent, and whilst the talent has been clearly visible for the past 60 minutes, it’s nice to see that they don’t need the pure chaos to be able to hold everyone’s attention. The stage lights dim leaving KK’s and everyone inside in darkness before what feels like 1,600 people scream “one more song”.

Remington steps back on stage alone, sits at his spotlight lit piano and let’s us know that this next song is awkward to preform when his mum is in the audience. His little ‘sorry, mom’ draws a giggle from the audience before he starts his stripped back version of ‘Lonely‘. As the song reaches it’s second chorus, the remaining 4 band members make their way to stage, find their place, grab their instruments and turn the whole thing up to 11. Sebastian grabs the trans flag that’s been brought in by an audience member and sports it around his shoulders for a hot minute before handing it back whilst Remington has made his way up one of the speakers and has jumped to the higher stage. The night ends with ‘Fever Dream‘ which, judging by the way this audience sings the first verse, is what everyone has been waiting for. From top to bottom, this is one of the most highly entertaining shows I have ever laid witness to.

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