Nearing the end of a successful run of UK and European shows and growing ever so popular worldwide, rock trio Palaye Royale were looking forward to celebrating the end of this British run of shows at the legendary Camden venue, Koko. They had even managed to sell out the venue shortly before they were due to be on stage. However, tragedy struck and City of London shut down Koko due to deeming the structure unsafe. This affected many shows, including Palaye Royale’s, who had to relocate to Brixton for the following Sunday (7th October). This led to both positives and negatives: positives included a larger venue led to more tickets being put on sale; negatives included tickets being returned and fans being refunded due to not being able to make the rescheduled show.
To make up for it, the group pulled strings to host a short acoustic set on the steps of the temporarily closed down Camden venue; free of charge, and included everyone in attendance was guaranteed a meet-and-greet with the three members.
Tens of fans arrived and were able to get up-close and personal with the American band, as they played a short string of hits from both their debut ‘Boom Boom Room (Side A)’ and their recent follow-up ‘Boom Boom Room (Side B)’. This was an unexpected yet pleasant change of pace from the previous dates on their tour, and showed their fans – dubbed “Soldiers of the Royal Council” – in the truest way they could how much they mean to them. They took time between songs to thank the fans for coming out to the venue and joining them; lead singer Remington Leith even commented that he believed there would only be a handful of fans joining them that evening for the set and was surprised by the actual turnout.
The set was less of an actual concert and more of a bonding moment between the band and their fans in attendance. Including openly addressing someone holding a less-than-friendly sign accusing guitarist Sebastian Danzig of being transphobic by addressing that everyone is learning from every mistake they make and every wrong word they say. They expressed love and respect for all, and especially towards the fandom before them – a great message to pass on to a fanbase that consists of a majority of teenagers and young adults who are also still growing up and learning from their mistakes.
The bonding between both parties were greatly strengthened when playing their more recent hits during this acoustic set, as they seemed shocked and yet proud that this selection of the Royal Council have already memorised the lyrics. Performing tracks such as “Death Dance”, “Dying in a Hot Tub”, and “Teenage Heartbreak Queen” – the latter of which brought on a fan-only singalong moment – the trio still managed to amaze a crowd armed with simply one microphone and one guitar (drummer Emerson Barrett kept a beat on Danzig’s guitar case throughout). There is no doubt that everyone had fun and enjoyed a low-key alternative to a larger scale show inside a venue, setting the tone for a chilled beginning of the weekend.
Opening with fan favourite “Ma Cherie” and closing with one of their early songs, “Get Higher”, there may not have been enough tracks to cover an entire concert setlist but the fans gained more than that. They gained a personal evening with the band they love and admire, and that made up for the reschedule debacle and then some.
Everyone will agree on one last opinion: Palaye Royale should do more acoustic shows.