Live: Blues Pills and Vintage Caravan

Scandinavian double bill brings howling acid rock and blues to the capital.

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Pitched halfway between Blue Cheer and Budgie, Icelandic trio the Vintage Caravan are an energetic bunch, bounding about the stage like springboks on PCP as they deliver a crunching set of hard rock howlers.

Guitarist Óskar Logi Ágústsson is long of hair and fleet of finger, spending most of the set wearing a face that suggests he’s about to climax, while bearded bassist Alexander Örn Númason goes for an unexpected jog through the crowd at the finale.

The highlight is Midnight Meditation, which somehow appropriates the riff from Paranoid and turns it into a rapid, psychotropic march./o:p

Blues Pills vocalist Elin Larsson is rapidly becoming a genuine star; goofy off-mic, but possessing a voice that could warn of incoming air strikes while on. It’s a voice that operates like a Formula 1 car gearbox, working gingerly through the corners and utterly devastating at full throttle down the straights./o:p

She’s at her best on the slower songs, where she can feel around the notes: new single No Hope Left For Me is outstanding, while her performance on Astralplane, as boy-guitarist Dorian Sorriaux solos like a battle-scarred veteran, is little short of staggering. Special mention, too, for American bass player Zack Anderson, the owner of a set of tumbling curls so unprecedented he occasionally appears to have his head on backwards./o:p


Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.