GIG REVIEW: Blues Pills, Kadavar & Stray Train Live at Camden Koko, London
Swedish rock band Blues Pills have one of those names that perfectly describes their music. Fusing soulful blues roots with a psychedelic energy, Blues Pills fervently bring back a classic sound with a modern, youthful and bouncing twist. Joining them on this evening were solid rockers Stray Train and epic road trip soundtrack belters Kadaver.
Stray Train hit the stage with a strong beat and vibes reminiscent of Robert Palmer and Guns and Roses. Fervently enthusiastic, these guys grinned and grooved their way through a set of classic rock, looking much younger than their polished, classic sound. The singer wailed, sharing his microphone with the guitarist to add to the joy. It was a dynamic show of energy and fun. They only broke the pace to wiggle out a Zeppelin style ballad, building to a wailing guitar solo to finish the set.
Kadavar continued the classic rock vibes, but not before introducing themselves to the stage with a backing track that set an epic scene ready for adventure through their heavy sound. It was pretty obvious a lot of the audience were just as psyched to see this band as they were Blues Pills- I’d not heard of them but their stage presence convinced me of their popularity as they hammered their way through tracks that simply consisted of four very strong elements; a 70’s style piercing vocal, a distorted singing guitar, a rolling energetic bass, and relentless crashing drums, center front stage, beat by the closest thing to a human personification of The Muppet’s ‘Animal’ that I have ever seen. The hair of this band flows long, accentuated for the drummer by fans pointed up at him either side- mesmerizing.
This gig swung between 60s and 70s vibes, and as Blues Pills entered the stage we were grabbed deep into 60s psychedelia, but with an amphetamine twist. Singer Elin bounded around, barefoot, a ball of energy, evidently doing the thing her soul was created for. It has to be said- something strikingly obvious to anyone who’s heard the band already-; the lady can WAIL. Bathed in golden light, her voice pierced the entranced crowd, while the slick smooth band around her nodded their heads in confident agreement. The set swung and grooved to a soulful crescendo, leaving the crowd uplifted, her energy replenishing us all.
Loud hippy queen Elin Larsson and her elegant boys of Blues Pills graced Camden’s Koko venue to brighten a cold winter night.