Some of my favourite albums are live albums. The energy and sound you get at a gig, captured in time for you to revisit time and time again – provided it’s been done right in the first place. With last year’s Lady in Gold added to their repertoire and an incredible tour in support of it, Blues Pills have unleashed upon the world their second live album.
Lady in Gold: Live in Paris shows how good those shows with Kadavar were. It says a lot about its namesake that the first four songs played were pulled from it before they delve into the first album. From the first notes of the title track, you’re treated to a band at the top of their game. And although it’s blues, they make sure to keep it nice and heavy for the most part with that, “Little Boy Preacher” and “Bad Talkers” before Larsson goes in a full-out vocal barrage with “Won’t Go Back”.
The tamer moments are there as well with “Little Sun” and the curveball which is “Black Smoke”. Whilst the performance is consistent throughout, it’s the final third of the album where the assault kicks things up a notch with “High Class Woman” before its traditional jam which blends seamlessly into “Ain’t No Change”. Then there’s the introduction to “Devil Man”. If you’ve seen Blues Pills before, you know exactly what I mean. As Larsson ferociously introduces the song, it feels like the entire performance was leading up to this moment, warming up her vocals.
“I Felt a Change” introduces the encore and the song takes on a new dimension, loaded with power and emotion, it’s one that’ll get the goosebumps forming in no time. Throughout, the multi-national band are on top form with bassist Zack Anderson and drummer André Kvarnström locking in to deliver some filthy and heavy grooves and bringing out the funkier side of Lady in Gold’s material.
Meanwhile, Rickard Nygren handles the rhythm guitar and organ, replicating the sounds from the studio that a single guitarist couldn’t. Speaking of which, the modern day maestro Dorian Sorriaux proves once again he’s the leading force of modern blues guitar work. Sure, I’ve said similar in every review I’ve written on these pages about the band but dammit, it remains true. The things he does with his guitar is borderline supernatural. Between the five of them, a tighter live act at this stage of their career, you’d be hard pushed to find.
The energy emanating from the speakers as you listen to …Live in Paris is even more faithful than Blues Pills Live. All five of them are putting in a performance as if it’s their last. Essentially, this album captures Blues Pills in the best way possible, as a live album should. With the debut album’s tracks pulled and the vast majority of Lady in Gold aired, coupled with the audience reaction you can hear, it’s further proof how solid that album was. Delightfully heavy, loaded with blues and funk, Blues Pills have created an immense live album and if they record any more – this is the standard bearer.
Lady in Gold: Live in Paris is released on 3rd November on [amazon text=digital download&asin=B075GX6T83], [amazon text=CD&asin=B075H15H6Q] and [amazon text=vinyl&asin=B075MXRKP8].