Royal Headache – The Corner Hotel, 12/5/17

By Ben Madden | @benmaddentweets

Image Credit: pitchperfectpr

Let me start this review by saying that inner city parmas are a price gouge.

Certain establishments need to decide whether $24 for a parma is really the best business model. What does this have to do with the gig itself? Nothing at all, but you can imagine my annoyance.

The Corner Hotel was bumping on this particular Friday night, and with good reason. Sydney band Royal Headache were back in town, with the larger-than-life frontman Tim “Shogun” Wall in tow. They’ve developed somewhat of an aura around them this year, having faded in and out of the spotlight for the majority of this decade. As you can probably tell, I was pretty excited.

The openers, The Electric Guitars, played. There was music performed by them, and to them I say, good on you.

By the time Power came on, the room was pretty packed, and they weren’t disappointed. They crammed in a lot of sound for a 3-piece.There was a contingent of fans up the front getting massively into it, and who could blame them? The risk with the main support can be that they leave the crowd feeling a different vibe to that of the main band. However, Power perfectly suited the lineup, and a sold-out Corner Hotel was very appreciative. I’d see them again.

Royal Headache shuffled onto stage, as nonchalant as can be for a band about to play a sold-out Friday night show. The setlist was a combination of past, present, and future, with songs from the second album making up the large majority (‘Carolina’ and ‘Garbage’ being the standouts), as well as songs from their self-titled debut. The gig was also a chance to hear new songs from an unannounced 3rd album, which hopefully will come out sometime this year, though nothing is confirmed at the moment.

Despite suffering the flu, Shogun was a man possessed on stage. More like a rapper than a singer, he spat lyrics with such venom and force that I couldn’t help but get swept up in it all. Stories abound from various Royal Headache gigs, with the most notable being a supposed riot on the steps of the Sydney Opera House in 2015. From listening to them on record, this seems absurd, but it makes sense how such an event could have happened. The crowd was ferocious, and Shogun continued to lift, the energy level rising throughout the whole show.

I am not one to dabble in hyperbole, but Royal Headache are a legitimate must-see. They are well on their way to establishing themselves in Australian music folklore. Hell, they might have even done so already.

In a year where I saw The Avalanches twice, I may have just seen my favourite gig of the year. See them next time they’re in your state.



Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

Sign up for Catalyst Magazine

Get the latest on what's happening
* = required field