Blues Pills, The Big Nose Attack, Soundtruck // Gagarin 205 Club, Athens, Greece // 24.01.2015
It’s always awesome being part of something that is big RIGHT NOW and honestly I cannot think of a better moment that Blues Pills could have set their foot on Greek soil for the first time. The hype surrounding them is tremendous for a band with only one album and two EPs out there (the fact that the show was sold out is a definite sign of that) but we got to witness how their music does 100% justice to this hype. It’s not like we did not know it beforehand, but live performances are always something different.
Walking into an already crowded Gagarin 205, the first band up on the stage was SOUNDTRUCK. The first three words that form in your mind when you see them are “southern” and “LYNYRD SKYNYRD”. The latter two words remain throughout the show because the similarity in the voice and the melodies are quite striking but that doesn’t mean you can’t be entertained, right? Because that is what SOUNDTRUCK do best, provoking you to tap your foot, smile, drink a beer and have a good time while their groovy MOLLY HATCHET – meets – PLANET OF ZEUS riffs vibrate the speakers!
I very much liked the singer’s energy and how he tried to warm up the crowd with constant communication and provided much information about the bands history and discography. Why be the quiet type when you have so many people already in the venue and looking at your band? So, points won for Soundtruck (who if I am not mistaken mentioned they’ve been working on their second album) in the minds of the Greek crowd.
I think that anyone who had as little idea about THE BIG NOSE ATTACK as me, also spent the first five minutes of their show exactly like I did, meaning wondering where the fuck they’ve hidden the bassist. The great slap in the face comes when you realize that the suited up BIG NOSE ATTACK are a duet and the way the guitarist handles his sound is just unbelievable!
I don’t know what spell he had cast over that instrument but they sounded like a complete band, bass and all! At some point during “Yeah (That Girl)” I even found myself wondering if he had sampled some keyboards for that song, but I think not. One guitar produced three very distinct sounds! And the quality of those songs, simply great!
Comparing them to THE WHITE STRIPES would be a bit unfair, since they encompassed many elements in their sound, ranging from indie and garage rock to blues rock and even some lose jamming moments reminding of 70’s heavy psych rock.
It would also be unfair to not mention the drummer’s performance that played the hell out of his drum kit, like in the final song and outro of the band’s performance. You can always tell when a support band earns a warm applause and when a support band earns a “Holy shit! I didn’t know they were so good!” applause. THE BIG NOSE ATTACK definitely got the second type by an enthusiastic Athenian crowd.
A few minutes of excruciating wait pass and there upon the stage walks the multinational quartet of BLUES PILLS among frantic, football-stadium-like cheers and applause. From the very first minute you can tell this band has a different aura, a vibe from another era we never got to experience in its prime.
“High Class Woman” and “Dig In” also leave no room for disagreement on that fact, since a blues and classic rock tornado rattles our souls round and round inside the four wall Woodstock that Gagarin had become.
“Ain’t no change” is the turning point when the chain is off the beast and it can spread havoc as much as it pleases. And of course I am talking about Elin Larsson and her soul piercing, scarily perfect voice, perhaps the greatest female voice of this decade as a friend suggested (please don’t make me decide between her and Alia O’ Brien, my mind will explode). She shakes the cements with her singing and draws a smile on every face in the venue. She’s living it with all her heart, laughing, dancing and shaking her tambourine and seems like an archetypical vision of the 70’s.
The magical “Astralplane” and “Bliss” come marching forward and what we’re experiencing is literally bliss. It’s as if Jinx Dawson and Grace Slick have merged in one singer and she is performing alongside a mixture of FLEETWOOD MAC, GRAVEYARD and C.C.R!
I know my generation never got to see PETER FRAMPTON or PETER GREEN performing in their golden years, but god damn, the miraculous young mister Dorian Sorriaux tried his best to do something about it. His fingers weave pure magic on the guitar, just clear, beautiful and meaningful solos and melodies storming through the venue and making everybody dance on his command (and on the rhythm section’s command, the two silent heroes of the night).
Even I can tell that his technique isn’t something really complex or difficult, but he has the most needed element blues rock needs, and that is pure passion for it.
No need to babble about how that feeling was transmitted to the crowd when the familiar “Devil Man” intro scream echoed in Gagarin, with people losing their minds and singing along, dancing and generally letting every worries go to hell for just a few minutes. And really no need to babble about what “Little Sun” played live means. You’ve heard it, you’ve felt it. Sadly, “Little Sun” was the last song of the regular set, but they played the thunderous “Black Smoke” as an encore, closing with a bang their first ever appearance in Greece.
You might argue that the almost 70 minute long set was quite short and I abide to that, yet you can’t argue that in these 70 minutes they portrayed so much passion that other bands can’t reach in two or more hours of a show. And, to me at least blues rock equals passion. And BLUES PILLS proved to us passion is what they do best.
Check S&D Photography for more photos.