8.05pm-8.55pm The Lemon Twigs
It’s a jump back into 60-70s with The Lemon Twigs, an incredibly young American band composed by the two brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario with Danny Ayala on keyboards and Megan Zeankowski on bass.
Their tainted rock ‘n’ roll recalls The Beatles, the two brothers long hair and hair cut The Ramones. They impress their audience for their young age and the mastery of their instruments as well as their multi-instrumentalism. Brian starts out the concert as the lead singer and guitarist whereas his brother Michael is on the drums.
Then, during a rather slow song, Michael joins his brother in front of the stage and lets out his pretty amazing voice which was until then hidden behind the drums. He then takes the lead of the guitar as his brother Brian sits in the back on the drums.
Proper showman, Michael tilts his leg in the air while playing the guitar. Their music is a mix of rock ‘n’ roll, pop rock and blues-rock. It’s a bomb of energy which the audience widely appreciates.
The Lemon Twigs plays songs taken from their debut album Do Hollywood (2006) as well as songs from their EPs, and tunes which are still unreleased.
The electric guitar is ever present, with an addictive blues-rock sound. The keyboard gives a 60s touch to the tunes. Throughout the show Brian also plays a tiny Irish flute giving something of a folky turn to the music. An impressively talented young band that allows you to travel back in time! Who’d ask for more?
English rock duo Slaves, made up by drummer and singer Isaac Holman and bassist and guitarist Laurie Vincent sticks to a basic rock sound. Slaves released their second album Take Control in September 2016.
The drums’ beats are incredibly powerful and intense, and the guitar riffs break in as angry as possible. It’s pretty incredible the sounds that just two people can produce.
As soon as they start playing the audience forms a mosh pit up front, it is the first time I see that at Montreux Jazz Festival, and the band says ironically “We are your jazz band tonight”.
The singer tells anecdotes to introduce the songs and he does it in a way that those stories just blend smoothly into the songs. As for the song “Cheers London”, where he first asks the public whether someone has already been to London and tells things about the City then starts singing.
Laurie Vincent switches from bass to guitar always producing hard riffs which are combined with furious drums beats.
10.45pm-11.45pm Royal Blood
Another English rock duo takes the stage of Montreux Jazz Lab. Royal Blood is formed by drummer Ben Thatcher and bassist and lead singer Mike Kerr.
Their sound is less furious and more polished than that of Slaves. They kick off with determination with the powerful drums and heavy bass lines that characterize their music.
The second song Royal Blood plays is their new single “Lights Out” taken from their brand new album How did we get so dark?, released in June 2017. It’s a song charged with emotional bass riffs where the drums dictate the rhythm and singer Mike Kerr sings his lungs out.
They also play songs from their previous eponymous album, like the beautiful “Little Monster”, with its gorgeous bass riffs which become highly addictive, or the tune “Out of the black” which sets its roots in the hard-rock world. Mike Kerr’s voice blends in with greatness into Royal Blood’s pattern of bass lines and drum beats.
Towards the end of the concert drummer Ben Thatcher stands up on his drums while singer Mike Kerr incites the audience to scream and put the hands in the air. It is the introduction to the last song of their set, “Figure it out”, amazing angry tune taken from their first album Royal Blood (2014).
An outstanding rock night at Montreux Jazz Festival!