Dirt Royal are from Brighton. They have just slotted in some performances for The Great Escape 2022, and with some seriously good releases under their belts the had a slot to play live in HMV in Brighton. Their sound has grown over the years, their songwriting abilities are extraordinary. They know how to build a song lyrically and fuse a bright and melodic influence of punk and mod.
Dirt Royal was created by Charlie Russell (lead vocals/bass) in Brighton in Under The Bridge Studios.
Charlie asked Loz Hood to play drums, showing him a few demos of song ideas. Loz liked them and was interested in starting something.
After a lengthy search in finding someone suitable, they were finally fortunate to hook up with Leon Fenton (lead vocals/guitar). Leon played an open mic night that the two existing members were at and they were very impressed by his set, so they asked Leon to join and convinced him to be in the band. Dirt Royal was alive and kicking!
Charlie looking back stated, “I decided to form Dirt Royal to have a band whose members were very serious and enthusiastic about playing live and writing songs, songs with lyrics that say something important or tell an interesting story with energetic raw but melodic music. Just honest music really.”
HMV – in store
The guys had arrived nice and early and had loaded in the equipment. It was a slog as they had to carry amps etc into the store via the shopping area. Its quite a walk! Drums built. Guitars tuned. Amps set. And we were ready!
During lock down the band were working away on new material. Their previous album was released just before the second series of lockdowns and so the guys missed out on getting out and promoting it. Great Expectations is a cracker of an album, no fillers, and just overflows with electric excitement. Word got out and the guys had some radio play, the vinyl version has been re-printed as it sold out. The main single release went down really well and the quirky but masterful video for Lose Our Way has racked up some 6,000 views since release. New album is on its way!
With a new single just released Shoot Me Know, the timing for their instore was perfect. What a cracker of a single – great lyrics, and damn its so damn catchy (as always) with these guys. Leon announced the arrival to the crowd by first apologising to HMV for what they were about to unleash. And unleash is what they did! The guys decided to give Dont Let The Bastards Grind You Down a miss after a hilarious discussion surrounding if Bastards was still a swear word these days, and there were a few youngsters in attendance.
The set was short, but oh so sweet….. and pretty loud!
The set buzzed along, each song getting a warm reception from the crowd. The banter flew between the guys. Charlie proceeded to remove his bass and replace it with an acoustic! I have known these guys for a while and hadnt seen this before! The “secret” fourth member of Dirt Royal emerged from the comic book section in HMV and grabbed the bass! Local musician James Brett was up! I had a chance to meet this talented fella during the video shoot for Lose Our Way. Nicely played Brett!
The new tracks were great, sounded fresh as I hadnt heard them before. The other songs were all single releases, and the guys play these songs so well. The sound in HMV was cool and Dirt Royal cranked it up. Glory Days was delivered on point as Charlie engaged with the crowd.
A live show, wherever you see them play, will leave you wanting more. Finely crafted songs and mixed with on stage banter and humour will leave you with your ears buzzing and put a smile on your face. They are still waiting for the radio – and the fact they are still waiting shows the rather poor state of affairs within the music industry for any bands trying to make it. These guys are good – real good and a favourite of the Scene Sussex team. Ya gotta love Dirt Royal!
The set came to an end. Damn enjoyed that one! Last time I saw the guys live on a big stage was at The Eastbourne Food Festival ( they are back there for 2022) and they blew everyone away then, and they gleaned some new fans in HMV and sold some copies of Shoot Me Now. Perfect, as always with Dirt Royal – job done!
Keep up with Dirt Roya. They can be seen around Brighton. Go see them play live!!
Shoot Me Now – new single – give it a listen! An absolute beast of a record that will have you singing the chorus after one listen!
Words: Ian Bourn. Photos: Ian Bourn.
Thanks to Dirt Royal.
Thanks to the fab staff at HMV Brighton. You were brilliant!
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