Culture / Music

On the road with Royel Otis – a photo diary from the band’s Australian tour

royel otis

There are many entry points into the music of Royel Otis, but it was the Australian band's cover of Sophie Ellis-Bextor's jaunt Murder on the Dancefloor that had our heads spinning.

It was well-timed, sure, (the song resurfaced on the charts after a delicious inclusion in Saltburn). But the move exhibited an agile side of Royel Maddell and Otis Pavlovic. It was a lightly improvised, playful performance; the synths addictive, driven home by the Pavlovic's charming and nostalgic vocal delivery. Indie is back – or at least, the band is lodging as case for its revival.

It's this climate that Royel Otis launched their debut album Pratts & Pain into – christened after the South London pub where they'd sink pints and write lyrics – before immediately embarking on an Australian tour.

During the Sydney, Canberra and Perth legs of the tour, RUSSH sent photographer Tim Swallow to capture Royel Otis in their element, be it behind the scenes or on stage before sold-out venues. It was a moment to catch up with the band, who soon enough will be flying overseas for appointments across the US and Europe – including a slot at Primavera Sound. Think of it like a snapshot before they transition from Big In Australia to Big Internationally too.

Below, Royel Otis talks their latest obsessions and what's on their In and Out list for 2024.

royel otis

Your album Pratts and Pain is named after a Streatham pub you’d drink at while finishing up song lyrics. What’s another of your favourite spots to hit up in South London?

Not sure what it's called but there is this Vietnamese place, Tam's Restaurant I think, a few doors down from Pratts and Payne where we would frequent.


We can’t stop listening to your cover of Murder on the Dancefloor. Who would you want to cover a Royel Otis song, and what track would it be?

I would love to hear Neil Young cover absolutely any of our songs, but if I had to pick one it would be Daisy Chain.

royel otis

Pretend we’re Letterboxd. What’s your one sentence review of Saltburn?

A love triangle between a boy, a bath plug and some soil… what more could you want?


An album everyone should listen to is…

Marcos Valle’s self titled 1983 album.

royel otis

Can you give us a book recommendation?

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.


What’s your most recent obsession?

Doing crosswords in the bath before some Korean BBQ.

Do you have any personal heroes?

Cliché but I’d hate myself if I didn’t say my mum. Unbelievably strong!


Can you share an In and Out for 2024?

In: compassion, lunch and Cinema. Out: Trolls and bare feet on a plane.

What’s on the cards for Royel Otis in 2024?

Seeing the world through beer goggles from a seemingly never stopping car window. Wouldn’t change a thing.


One last thing, can you leave us with some of your best advice?

If you can’t laugh at yourself you’re missing out on the best joke in the world.

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