WHAT A FEELING, IT’S A PALAYE ON THE CEILING
Alot has been made of Palaye Royale’s fondness for the flashbulb glare. However, lit up like a crime scene by 300 phones raised towards King Tut’s low ceiling in one raucous moment this evening, capturing frontman Remington Leith as he hangs upside down, they bear scant resemblance to the preened spooks we’re used to seeing. Sweat-soaked and delirious at this sold-out first Scottish show, these are musicians for whom glamour is but a tool within their escapist arsenal – not a prison within which their wild flamboyance should be contained. Many of tonight’s attendees have patiently spent hours on their make-up. It takes minutes to melt it off.
That is, if tonight’s openers The Haunt haven’t already made light work of it. Built around teenage siblings Anastasia and Maxamillion, The Haunt share much of the headliners’ DNA. There’s a gothic edge that runs through both their aesthetic and songs (particularly the knowingly-titled All Went Black), but it’s their flashes of punk vibrancy and riot grrrl attitude that get the already-packed space rocking and sweating.
With Palaye’s arrival, things get crazy. As they drop a white-hot opening salvo of Don’t Feel Quite Right, My Youth Generation and You’ll Be Fine the crowd surge stageward. Remington reciprocates as if unable to stand even a millimetre of separation from them, pressing himself over the barrier and into the audience. Get Higher (“About smoking a lot of weed,”) has the bass knocking the breath from our lungs, while Masochist sends a tornado of volume swirling around the confined space, and Death Dance – dedicated to the boys’ Scottish grandfather – erupts into an almighty stomp.
Ma Chérie, a moment of airy relief, bridges the middle of the set with the brothers alone onstage, leading a spine-tinglingly heartfelt sing-along. “It’s time to get all sorts of emotional,” cheerleads Remington, before a cod-scottish accented “beautiful” from the wrong side of the Irish Sea undoes his good work. Nobody cares, of course. A cover of My Chemical Romance’s Teenagers sees the entire crowd diving into the pit, before Mr. Doctor Man somehow cranks the chaos even further into the red.
“Even though it’s our first time here, we’d like to be one of the names on those steps very shortly,” grins Remington, hungrily gesturing to the hall of fame running along Tut’s’ legendary staircase, featuring Placebo, AFI, MCR and Muse. And as off-the-hook closer Warhol drops curtain with Sebastian Danzig jabbing his guitar out amongst the fans, Remington hanging bat-like from the ceiling and drummer Emerson Barrett trashing his kit, it’s clear that wherever this road is taking Palaye Royale, they’re already well on their way.