Blues Pills seem to have carved out a genre and a niche of their own these past few years. Not only do they write amazing songs, but nothing beats seeing them live on stage, preferably in an intimate setting such as a sweaty club or something along those lines. There is just something about them that rules. Not only is this international ensemble extremely talented from a purely musical point of view, but the way in which they fuse vintage hard rock with blues and folk music is downright mesmerizing at times. The references to old gods such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Black Sabbath, and the whole late 60s/early 70s sounds and atmospheres are prevalent and quite obvious throughout each and every song of theirs, but nothing sounds contrived or dishonest. Blues Pills are the real deal and they have managed to capture the essence of a bygone era and then turned that into something that they can rightfully call their own.
On the back of their most recent full-length album and its resulting tour comes this 15-track live effort, which was captured live on tape in Paris back in 2016 and is about to be released on various different formats (This review covers the 2CD version). Lady in Gold – Live in Paris is a raw and unpolished affair, which is exactly as it should be when it comes to this band. Nothing sounds touched up or evened out. Everything has been kept intact and sounds true to the actual sound that emanates from the speakers whenever these guys plunge into their tunes. Having had the pleasure of witnessing Blues Pills on various stages across the country, this live record very much captures the vibrant and dynamic feel of the band and shows how things gel whenever this magical unit locks in and conjures up those compelling compositions of theirs. The great thing about this live offering is that the tracks are expanded upon, which is to say that what is on display here are slightly different interpretations of stellar cuts such as ‘Devil Man‘, ‘Lady in Gold‘, ‘Bliss‘, ‘Little Sun‘, and others. Some renditions contain jam-like sections, others become more psychedelic and sprawling in nature, and some even turn into raging monsters that are way heavier and more intense compared to their studio counterparts. In other words, Lady in Gold – Live in Paris offers something slightly different and new, which is basically what makes this a relevant and cool release. The fact that the band is met with a rapturous applause by the appreciative crowd only emphasizes how popular and well-respected Blues Pills have become and just how much their superb song material resonates with people.
Lady in Gold – Live in Paris is a most welcome addition to the Blues Pills discography and essential for any fan of the band in that it conveys the atmosphere and vibe of the band‘s power and charisma on stage perfectly, but if you have yet to familiarize yourself with this great band the proper place to start would be their self-titled debut album.