It’s a calm Sunday evening in Dublin city, with the pale blue sky slowly fading to black and the last few rays of a dying week bounce off the shimmering Liffey. This sets the scene as I make my way to the Voodoo Lounge to share an evening with the fabulous Blues Pills. With a sizable crowd gathered in front of the dimly lit stage, one can not help but notice the very mixed audience that are in attendance.
There is no specific demographic here tonight, as I can see male, female, young and old from all walks of life. Some are wearing metal shirts and tatty patched jackets and others in country club attire. If ever there was an indication of just how Blues Pills music has reached a multitude of musical tastes, then this is it.
As the band make their way to the stage to a round of cheers and applause, there is an electricity in the air that puts my hairs on end. Unpretentiously gracious and clearly happy to be in Ireland, the band opens up with High Class Woman and the first thing that is clearly evident is Elin’s vocals are outstanding live! Seeing Blues Pills live as opposed to hearing them on record is a totally different experience all together. The sheer power and feel of this band live is second to none.
Guitarist Dorian Sorriaux, shows his exceptional ability on the fretboard with songs such as Ain’t no Change, Bliss and Astralplane. Backed up with a power house rhythm section courtesy of drummer André Kvarnström and bassist Zack Anderson, the equilibrium of tone and groove from Blues Pills really shines through, which is something that simply can not be experienced on a studio recording.
With Elin dancing barefoot throughout the entire set, it’s almost impossible to keep your eyes off her. The passion and intensity of her performance is intoxicating and has the haunting essence of Janice Joplin. Her vocal ability for the opening of “Devil Man” see’s the Voodoo Lounge in complete silence and hanging on her every note.
As the band work through their set, we are treated to an excellent cover of Tony Joe White’s Elements and Things, which they execute with their own traditional and unmistakeable Blues Pills personality, before they finish up with “Black Smoke” and “Little Sun”.
There is no mistaking that everyone in attendance tonight was witnessing something very special indeed. This will be one of those shows that is the stuff of legend and will be talked about for years to come. Outstanding!
High Class Woman
Ain’t no Change
Time is Now
No Hope Left For Me
Elements and Things (Tony Joe White cover)
Words – Oran O’Beirne
Photography – Steve Dempsey: Down The Barrel Photography © 2015