Heady memories of summer past flooded back as The Pearl Harts, opening for Blues Pills, took on the mix and match crowd at the O2 Islington.
Perhaps it was the larger venue, perhaps it was the drugs and booze, but the pouty mouthed duo sounded harder, grittier and dirtier than before. The girls were always as tight as you like but this set was a darn site punchier right from the get-go.
Despite the shitty lighting The Pearl Harts performance was a blinder, they certainly delivered the goo and the live version of ‘Skeleton Made Of Diamonds’ was absofuckinglutely phenomenally good. Clinking beer bottles as they left the stage, we could only think ‘Faster pussycats, kill kill’.
Then came Milton Keynes escapees RavenEye.
At first glance we were reminded of Bad Touch, forcing us to recoil into our whisky glasses with a half grimace and a feint murmur of dissatisfaction. Hold on one cotton-picking minute though. Cocking a fresh ear and squinting through the dry ice, it did appear the Milton Keynes boys weren’t actually that bad. After all, there was no poncho, no mustachioed prancing and no Led Zep riffs.
RavenEye, with a big fat E, were actually pretty damned good and despite some technical sound issues which were clearly out of their control, the chaps thundered on like true pros. They proceeded to mow a wide path for the main event by delivering a very ballsy rock set to the very happy crowd.
Swedish headliners, Blues Pills (right) wouldn’t have looked or sounded out of place at Woodstock.
Rattling her tambourine and channeling the spirit of Janis Joplin with a touch of the modern day Joss Stone, willowy frontwoman Elin Larsson has a remarkably powerful set of lungs and she belted out strong yet soulful bluesy vocals.
The psychedelic riffs chimed out and drifted over the O2 like clouds of incense then metamorphasised into groovy guitar solos while the pulsating drum beats crept up on us like goblins.
We never felt more like popping the blues.
Photos: Carl Byron Batson. Not to be reproduced without express prior permission.
Photographer, published poet, former party animal, body builder, grave robber
to the stars and renowned chainsaw juggler, Carl can often be spotted on his
Harley Davidson pretending to be in Terminator 2. He is also frequently seen in
the press pits of old London town, camera in hand, avoiding being hit by bottles
of wee and crippling his opposition with secret Kung Fu moves.