Royal Blood have become the latest act to pay tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins from the stage – you can watch footage below.
The Brighton duo, who are currently taking their third number one album, last year’s ‘Typhoons’, to arenas across the UK, opened for the Foos across Europe on their ‘Sonic Highways’ tour in the summer of 2015, including at the infamous show in Gothenburg, Sweden that saw frontman Dave Grohl fall from the stage and break his leg.
Last night (March 30), at their gig at London’s O2 Arena, they segued from a huge rendition of 2014 single ‘Little Monster’ into an extended three-minute drum solo by sticksman Ben Thatcher. It is believed that Thatcher’s solo was a direct cover of one previously delivered by Hawkins during Foo Fighters shows.
Behind them was projected a photograph of Thatcher and Hawkins together. As the epic solo met with huge cheers from across the arena, the band eventually moved neatly into the title track from their 2017 second album, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’
The band had already paid tribute to Hawkins on Twitter, after his sudden death in a hotel room in Colombia last week, just hours ahead of a huge Foos show in the capital, Bogotá. “Shocked & devastated to hear the news about Taylor this morning,” they wrote on Saturday (March 26). “We were fortunate enough to watch him shred every night on tour. An absolute inspiration on & off stage. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIP Brother.”
Thatcher had spoken of his and bandmate Mike Kerrr’s Foos fandom even before they’d played together. “If you asked us individually before Royal Blood even started with band we’d most like to tour with the Foo Fighters would be the ones,” he told NME in 2014. “So to get the opportunity on this album run is insane.” At a show at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium the following year, Thatcher’s kick drum bore an image of Hawkins dressed as a female flight attendant in the 1999 ‘Learn to Fly’ video.
Royal Blood join a host of other artists in dedicating performances to Hawkins in recent days. At a Teenage Cancer Trust benefit gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday (March 26), Liam Gallagher dedicated ‘Live Forever’ to Hawkins. Also last Saturday, Coldplay played ‘Everglow’ for him at their show in Monterrey, Mexico, whilst Elton John, playing in Des Moines, Iowa on his farewell tour, dedicated ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ to Hawkins.