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Royal Blood frontman storms off stage after swearing at BBC Radio 1 crowd

Rock duo branded ‘arrogant’ for their attitude after performing at the BBC’s annual music festival in Dundee

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 31 May 2023 06:55 BST
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Royal Blood appear to criticise crowd during Radio 1’s Big Weekend festival

A rock band frontman has been mocked after walking off stage at the Radio 1 Big Weekend, swearing to the crowd at an event streamed live on the BBC.

Music fans called out Royal Blood frontman Mike Kerr for his attitude at this year’s event in Dundee, Scotland, as he appeared frustrated by the audience’s perceived lack of enthusiasm.

The Brighton-based rock band performed on Saturday 28 May, alongside acts including singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, indie duo Wet Leg, and pop singers Niall Horan and Anne-Marie.

Big Weekend is the BBC’s current iteration of its annual music festival, which is held in different locations each year and hosted by Radio 1. Tickets cost £18 plus booking fees; previous headliners have included pop stars such as Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

The festival typically attracts a younger, pop-orientated demographic, with under 18s required to be accompanied by an adult. Live coverage is broadcast across BBC channels including Radio 1 and BBC iPlayer. Over 80,000 music fans were expected to visit the festival across the weekend.

As Royal Blood, comprising singer/guitarist Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, neared the end of their performance, Kerr began mocking the audience and suggesting they didn’t know who the band were.

“Well, I guess I should introduce ourselves seeing as no one actually knows who we are,” the 32-year-old said. “We’re called Royal Blood and this is rock music. Who likes rock music?

“Nine people, brilliant. This is Ben Thatcher, he plays drums, everybody say hi to Ben, please.”

He later quipped: “We’re having to clap ourselves because that was so pathetic. Well done, Ben.”

Appearing to address the camera-man, Kerr asked: “Will you clap for us? You clap? You’re busy. Can you clap? Yes, even he’s clapping.” Turning to the crowd again, he asked: “What does that say about you?”

At the end of the performance, Kerr then walked off-stage sticking up his middle fingers to the audience.

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The band, Kerr in particular, have received criticism on social media after clips of the incident emerged.

Royal Blood performing at Glastonbury in 2017 (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

“Man, some gigs are tough and you have to win over the crowd, but this is exactly how NOT to react,” the band Lottery Winners tweeted. “Very disappointed with Royal Blood here. No matter what level you get to, you’re never better than the audience.”

“The arrogance is absolutely off the scale,” one person commented on Twitter.

“Royal Blood don’t make music anywhere near good enough to be acting like this,” another said, while one remarked: “Every great band I’ve ever seen has never felt the need to do this. Hateful, especially from such a f***ing mediocre crock of s*** as Royal Blood.”

The Independent has contacted Royal Blood’s representatives for comment.

The band just announced their new album, Back to the Water Below, which is scheduled for release on 8 September. Their previous album, Typhoons, was released in 2021.

They are booked to play Glastonbury Festival 2023, which takes place between 21 and 25 June.

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