Review: Blues Pills And Kadavar – Classic Grand, Glasgow

Turn the vocals up”, Christoph Lindemann tells the sound man, “They wanna hear me. You’re the first that wanna hear me” he jokes. They are raised, to the delight of the audience, and we continued being psyched out by the grooves. Musically, they are reminiscent of Sabbath’s trippier stuff, a la “After Forever”. Lindeman’s lead guitar weaved in and out of the pounding bass and drum ensemble, adding to the psychedelic nature of the music. Due to the venue’s licensing, tonight’s show was very early, and Lindemann believed this to be the reason why the crowd is so quiet. That soon changed when he announces the next song, “The Old Man”. This was obviously a fan favourite. Kadavar’s set was an hour-long trip, topped off by a crushing version of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter”, which ended in a crescendo of noise, equalled only by the roar from the audience. Blues Pills are on tour to promote their latest release “Lady In Gold”. It’s their second album, and already the signs are there that this band is one to keep an eye and an ear on. They casually walked on stage, without any big announcement or music, and before a single note was played, singer Elin Larsson delightfully addressed the venue. “Good evening, beautiful Glasgow. We are so happy to be back in Scotland”. The familiar keyboard riff to “Lady In Gold” is extended to allow guitarist, Dorian Sorriaux some groovy wah wah, before Elin’s sultry voice filled our ears. Blues Pills were soon in full flow, Larsson bouncing around the stage like she was auditioning for Pan’s People (Ask your grandparents, kids). Swathes of fuzzy psychedelic lead swirled around the venue, and as the song finished, they were straight into “Little Boy Preacher”. Technical demons unfortunately plagued the song, and spoiled what would’ve been a stand out track. Perfectly played, and with some great echo effects on both Sorriaux’s guitar and Larsson’s soulful vocals, the heavy buzzing was very off-putting. Fortunately, it was fixed for the remainder of the show. It’s clear Blues Pills like to musically stretch out on the stage, with many songs extended to allow for longer solos and jamming. With the addition of keyboards and additional rhythm guitar, it made for a thick, groovy soup of trippy blues rock, with more than a touch of soul. “Won’t Go Back” bounded along a tad quicker than it does on the record, making it much more intense. Drummer, André Kvarnström beat the hell out of his kit, making the album version seem tame. “Black Smoke” was the first song of the night taken from the eponymous debut album. The laid back intro provided a chance for people to catch their breath, before they ramped up the groove meter for another romp through some late 60s/early 70s blues rock. “Little Sun” is a moody ballad that gave Sorriaux a chance to play some really emotive lead work. I think he’s one of the most promising young guitarists out there, and really needs to be heard live. “High Class Woman”, and “Devil Man” are naturally both present, being fan favourites, and really showed off Larsson’s powerful singing and energetic stage presence. Blues Pills left the stage and leaving Elin at the keyboards for “I Felt A Change”, a single spotlight on her, as she made her way through this beautiful ballad. The soft Fender Rhodes sound was a perfect accompaniment to her voice, and aside from the odd whistle, a hush fell over the crowd. Time for two encores; the upbeat “Redemption”, and the more subdued “Gone Too Long”, which meant they were only one song short of playing the entire “Lady in Gold” album. It was a fantastic show, and, had it not been for the sound issues earlier, it would’ve been perfect. Blues Pills finish 15 minutess before the 10pm curfew, so we made the most of the early finish by hitting a nearby gin bar.   Review: Colin Plumb Photography: Aaron Bird [gallery type='flickr' user_id='132278830@N06' view='photosets' photoset_id='72157674636179272' columns='3' tag_mode='any' sort='date-posted-desc' per_page='30' layout='random' ]]]>

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