IT’S said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but it can also be a huge learning curve, as Sussex rock band Royal Blood discovered.

Not many bands can say they’ve had the pleasure of seeing themselves live in concert.

But a week before jetting off on a South American tour, the Brighton rock duo did exactly that.

Not only did the two-piece enjoy a night of live music at Brighton's now-defunct The Haunt, but Royal Blood doppelgangers Royal Monster inspired their idols to tweak their style.

In an interview with BBC, Royal Blood frontman Mike Kerr, who grew up in Worthing, said watching the tribute act was a “surreal” moment for the pair, but a worthwhile one.

“It was also an interesting experience because I guess that's the closest we can really come to knowing what it's like to watch a Royal Blood gig,” he said.

"I realised there were all these styles and atmospheres and moments in our set that were missing. If there's anything that inspires my songwriting, it's the idea of a setlist, and our new album, I feel, fills a lot of those voids that were in our set before."

The Argus: Royal Blood formed in Brighton in 2011Royal Blood formed in Brighton in 2011

Inspired by their love of 70s glam rock and cheesy disco, the duo's new sound is all about breaking self-imposed constraints.

"The way we've made records before was so limited. That was intentional, but it was also starving ourselves of these colours and these textures,” the frontman added.

"Being in a rock band there can be this restriction on quality, based on making sure it's not too poppy or catchy. We totally got over that idea.”

After a delay due to lockdown, Royal Blood’s new Typhoons album is out, with a 22-date tour booked in.

However, the European-wide tour appears to have one glaring omission – Brighton.

While their hometown doesn’t feature on the band’s grand tour, Royal Monster says that won’t stop them seeing their idols live and adapting to their new sound.

Royal Monster frontman Dean Whale said his “jaw dropped” when he heard that they had inspired the rockers.

“We were a bit lost for words,” he said. "Do we get royalties?"

Drummer Rob Dowsett added: "Frankly, the fact that he said he understood what direction he wanted to take after seeing our show is bizarre - but it's excellent all the same.”