Royal Headache, Friday November 11, John Curtin Hotel

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Royal Headache, Friday November 11, John Curtin Hotel


The band is currently shredding a tidal wave of international and internet hype surrounding their self-titled debut album, which they were launching on this night – their first Melbourne show in ages. A full house and a warm Friday evening saw the John Curtin bandroom congested by the crowd, a steady stream of people constantly making their way up and down the staircase and trickling out on to the street.

After ascending the stairs, scouting a prime position is near impossible, with all vantage points obscured by the crowd. The band emerge and without hesitation or banter, launch into a commendable showcase of tunes from the album. The stop-start songs machine gunned from the stage included Are You Really In Love?, Down The Lane, Psychotic Episode, Girls and Honey Joy, which was a toe-tapping highlight. No Elouise, though. Bummer.

It only took three songs for Shogun to execute the trademark removal of his shirt, as he paced manically around the stage. He seemed to be holding it together reasonably well during the first half of the show. The second half became slightly unhinged, with Shogun revealing his intoxication, warning the crowd that he was actually pretty close to throwing up. At one point he asked for water, but was instead provided with a jug of beer which he thirstily drained with a dual-hand death grip.

It certainly wasn’t a flawless live show. Royal Headache don’t perform – they do the fucking job, and they do it well. All of the fragments of a faultless live performance are there – incredibly tight musicianship from the drummer and guitarist, sensational stories to tell, and that voice. I know first-hand that they are certainly able, just perhaps not willing – not always. It’s a reckless performance that matches their attitude towards, well, seemingly everything. That’s their appeal. However, the intoxication levels on this night leaked out a sliver of the electricity present in their previous live shows.

LOVED: The music.

HATED: I didn’t, actually.

DRANK: Some beers.