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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Another Point Of View: The Blues Pills (Review By Paul)

Blues Pills: The Globe, Cardiff

A sizeable portion of the Musipedia collective gathered at one of our favourite venues, The Globe in Roath for an evening of soulful blues and psychedelic style rock and once again a great night was had by all. There is something quite endearing about this little venue which has hosted many musical greats and some not so great. When it is full to capacity it can be very uncomfortable with views restricted but if you get a decent space on the balcony (with or without comfy sofa) then the evening can be quite magnificent.

A decent sized crowd were already assembled when the female power duo The Pearl Harts (8) hit the stage. And hit it they did. Kirsty and Sarah create an absolutely massive noise, using backing loops sparingly and captivating the audience with their no-nonsense rock and roll approach. As our ears bled due to the ludicrously loud volume, the girls blasted their way through a short but well-paced set including their debut single Skeletons Made Of Diamonds. Elements of Sabbath, The White Stripes and many more infuse their sound. How tiny ladies can make such a noise is a mystery, but then our group’s female contingent are also generally tiny but can also forcibly hold your attention so there you are. The Pearl Harts also have an undercurrent of serious aggression, suggesting that if you cross them serious harm could befall you. All very entertaining and a super opening act.

After a brief interlude we were treated to Oli Brown and his band RavenEye (9). To the uninitiated, Oli Brown is a 25 year old blues guitarist who has already created quite a stir in the music world with a number of studio albums under his belt. Ably supported by Aaron Spiers and Kev Hickman, RavenEye totally entertained the close to capacity crowd with a superb display of blues and dirty rock and roll for 45 minutes. It would be fair to say that this was a generous set, which allowed all members of the band to showcase their undoubted talent and quality. However, Brown is a seasoned performer and he knows it. Displaying an aggressive and also sensitive approach to his guitar playing, Brown is a real star with proper charisma and style. Musically, RavenEye belong in the 60s and 70s, with Hendrix, The Stones and Cream all prominent in the influences on display. As he soloed on top of the bass drum towards the end of the set, you forget how many great entertainers of a similar style there have been. Brown and his band have the potential to join many of the greats. An excellent performance was lapped up by the audience. Rarely has there been such an ovation for a support act at The Globe. Rarely has the support band been of such quality.

Following RavenEye was going to be difficult, but Blues Pills (9) have Elin Larsson’s quite beautiful vocal talent in their arsenal, and that, combined with the virtuoso Gaelic indifference of the massively talented Dorian Sorriaux, ensured that Blues Pills won the night. An understated entry was followed by the huge High Class Woman, which immediately had the place grooving and nodding in appreciation. As the band, completed by American Zach Anderson and maniacal drummer Andre Kvarnstrom delivered some of the quality tracks from the stunning debut album Blues Pills, people were grinning from ear to ear with appreciation about what they were hearing. Sorriaux is given ample time to showcase his soulful, bluesy style lead playing. Larsson remains a focal point throughout, her best Joplin impressions and tambourine playing complimenting her magnificently rich and quite breath-taking voice; none better than during the calmly paced No Hope Left For Me and the track that brought the Blues Pills to major airway prominence, the crashing runaway horse that is Devil Man. As the place went nuts to set closer Black Smoke, complete with extended musical duelling, you realise that this is a band destined for greatness. Larsson has one of the greatest voices in rock at present and this, combined with an absolutely stunning band makes them favourites across a multitude of other genre lovers. Final track, Little Sun brought the evening to a fitting close. With three quality bands providing brilliant value at £13 a ticket, this really was a night to remember. Quite brilliant.

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