Not heard of Dirt Royal? …… you will!
Dirt Royal are a three piece band from Brighton describing them selves as ‘British Rock n Roll’. Performing together since 2013, with a few self released EP’s and singles Dirt Royal have now released their debut Album ‘This is Now’. Dirt Royal was created by Charlie Russell (lead vocals/bass also song writer of the band) in Brighton. He asked Loz Hood to play drums, showing him a few demos of song ideas. Loz liked them and was interested in starting something and after a lot of trouble finding people that were suitable, they were lucky finally to meet Leon Fenton (lead vocals/guitar).
It was a very busy venue, and very warm. The room had filled as Dirt Royal were expected to take to the stage. Suddenly Loz grabbed the mic to tell the crowd that some of their equipment had gone missing – a vital part of the drum kit and two guitars and that they were unable to play until the items were located. This lead to all the venue lights going on and non one being allowed to leave the building. We were kept informed by the band, which was a brave thing to do and finally they advised us that a sound man from the night before took the equipment in mistake of his own. Thirty minutes late Dirt Royal took to the stage. They were ready and we were ready!
Guitar, bass and drums kicked in – the opener was “Dont let The Ba**erds grind you down. The energy was ramped up to 11. The crowd also seemed to spark with the energy coming from the stage and surged forwards. People danced, jumped around, and even some climbed onto other people shoulders. I had never witnessed such enthusiasm or excitement for a band at The Prince Albert before. This was gonna be a helluva ride. Leon had given me permission to take some photos and I had to move as I was engulfed with happy Dirt Royal fans!
Song number two was the brilliant “Girl In The Shop”. I was new to Dirt Royal – the crowd in the main were not and relished the delivery of this song, which was a single release and you can watch it here. I realised I was witnessing a skilled and talented trio of musicians.
Members of the audience jumped onto the stage, it later turns out they were friends of the band and had appeared in a video. Next up “It Was You” and “Homemade Hell”. Charlie took a moment to tell us “Sickboy” was in the house and Dr Weekend himself made an appearance. Dr Weekend vaulted onto the stage for the next track, and latest single release, “Dr Weekend“. This is a blistering track almost harking back to an anthem that would not been out of place alongside The Clash or The Jam back in ’77. Fantastic. Leon laying down a buzz saw of guitar track. Charlie, confined by the lack of space on the stage did his best to jump and swing his bass whilst dealing with Dr Weekend.
SickBoy jumped up on stage and rubbed Charlies face into his chest as they played SickBoy Method. Charlie continued to play with his face embedded in the chest of a very hot and sweaty Sickboy. Not sure how he managed to continue playing whilst laughing and trying to get away. However, this is Dirt Royal – they are unstoppable. Loz continued to hammer out the perfect rhythm with Leon whilst the onstage “party” continued. The atmosphere was great and we felt as if we had been invited to a night out. Charlie asked the audience if someone would get him a drink. Two minutes later a beer was handed to him.
Charlie struck his pose and the bass pounded up, Leon hitting the opening chords whilst Loz supplied the beat and everyone recognised “Army of Dogs”. Oh yes! the crowd loved this. I was staggered by the quality of the songs being played and the professional delivery of these tracks.
The storming set continued and a quieter guitar chord and Leon taking on vocals for the sublime “Factory Fodder”. This had everybody up and at it, even those who were not there for Dirt Royal. A belting song and delivered perfectly.
“Time for one more” The band thanked The DeRellas, due next on stage, for letting them do a full set after the initial delay. The Neo Punk Anthem – That isn’t Me closed the set. This is yet another crowd pleaser and had everyone enjoying the music.
Dirt Royal left the stage to much applause, and rightly deserved. That had been a great set and a stunning introduction to the band for me and others. An exciting band, exciting songs, and great stage presence. You really should see them live on stage. Keep an eye out they are a very busy band. Would I see them live again? Definately.
I feel that Dirt Royal have a punk/mod sound and approach to live performances. This set was their time on stage and I think it important to tell you that they play with every bit of energy, get people involved and certainly do not hold back.
The Venue: The Prince Albert, Brighton
An intimate venue so you can get up as close as you want. The sound was good considering the size of the venue. The lighting was ok, but needs some attention as parts of the stage at times were very dark and difficult to see. Charlie would sometimes vanish in blue and Leon would be bathed in a red/pink. Could do with a little more overall stage brightness or attention prior to a gig. And they do a great pint!
A selection of badges and CD’s and Vinyl on sale. The band stayed around for awhile and were more than happy to sign some of their Merch..
All words and images – copyright Ian Bourn/Mediaworks