The Boy Royals

Venue: Undertone, Cardiff
Date: 17th April 2012

Cardiff’s Undertone is a cracking basement venue, with it’s low ceilings, aromas of stale beer, sweat and damp, it stinks (literally) of a classic gig environment. There’s no fancy lighting, in fact it’s virtually pitch black. The darkness is slightly punctured by a few fluorescent tubes and the unflatteringly lit ‘band area’ stage left. It’s small and intimate and you’re never more than a few metres from the PA system. It’s in your face and it’s loud. Just like The Boy Royals.

They open with Teenage Sky, a sing out loud 100mph indie anthem and from there it doesn’t stop; it’s relentless. Anthem after anthem after anthem. There’s minimal chat between songs apart from the obligatory ‘thank you’ to the crowd and a nod to the support bands. Tracks like ‘Eighteen’, ‘Voice of the Future’ and ‘People Like Us’ do all the talking. In fact they shout, eyeball to eyeball, finger pointing, demanding you listen.

The performance is polished and tight and although the surroundings feel right, deep down you know that venues the size of Undertone will soon be a thing of the past. You only need glance at their next gig, a well deserved support slot with fellow Newportians Feeder in Cardiff’s illustrious Coal Exchange, and you start to get a feel for where things are headed.

Steve C

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