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Live Review: Royal Headache, Blank Realm, Exhaustion, Monica Brooks

25 May 2015 | 1:58 pm | Max Harrison

"A genius group of approximately 15 bouncers and police decided it was time to shove everyone off stage with force, creating a frenzy of panic"

Repressed Records presented an extremely eclectic night for Vivid Festival’s opening weekend at the Opera House, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they are never allowed to showcase there again.

It was a celebration of Royal Headache, the Sydney band known for their spitfire Australiana that have scarcely played a handful of shows over the past two years. This evening proved that it was too long of a wait. 

The bands in support were not your average line-up. The first cacophony of supports truly seemed bored as fuck to be playing at the Opera House – maybe they were nervous? Pianist Monica Brooks came along and uplifted the hall with her nonstop ever-changing layers. Exhaustion looked like they were very much so by the end - the musicians were skilled at creating a destructive noise from beginning to end with the help of Kris Wanders’ squawking saxophone, successfully breaking down the walls of cliché with their own jazz. Ending the boggling supports was Blank Realm who warmed the audience with layered melodic hooks, keytar and their own brand of repetitive crackpipepop. 

Finally Royal Headache brought an awaiting crowd to a standing ovation for their first song. Nobody could sit down. All of the dormant energy was woken with the help of Shogun’s fiery lead and the rest of the Headache’s smashing musicianship. All of the standing punters – and I mean every one of them – took the opportunity to jump the stage and mosh during the fourth song, swelling the party to maximum raucous. It was a beautiful welcome. 

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Royal Headache barely missed a beat and leapt into their next song surrounded by their audience. It was then that a genius group of approximately 15 bouncers and police decided it was time to shove everyone off stage with force, creating a frenzy of panic and cutting off the band. Through the ‘boo’s and the ‘hurray’s Royal Headache managed to play one more song, but the vibe was well and truly dead and the gig came to a premature end. 

On the plus side, look out for their new (and probably last) album due later this year!