Graveyard/Firebird - London, The Borderline - 27th April 2011 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 04:30

Graveyard_LogoFans of 70's styled rock have been spoilt over the past 6 weeks at London's Borderline. Over that period, the likes of Comus, Gentleman's Pistols, Incredible Hogg, Blood Ceremony and Wolf People have graced this stage, all to a packed house. Tonight they have arguably saved the best till last with Gothenburg's finest heavy blues/psych rockers Graveyard once again packing the venue out.


Firebird open proceedings tonight, and as they hit the stage, the venue is already full. Firebird have a healthy following, and a fair portion of the crowd have turned up specifically for them tonight. Their latest album, 'Double Diamond', has been very well received, as is their set tonight. Firebird's blues rock is packed full of infectious grooves, underpinned by a rock solid rhythm section and augmented by Bill Steer's fine guitar work. Steer doesn't have the strongest of singing voices, and the songs aren't particularly memorable, but it's the vibe, feel and groove of this band that wins them an audience. A fine harmonica-led instrumental, reminiscent of early Cactus, closes the set in fine style, and shows that Steer isn't just a great talent on the guitar.


As the psychedelic lighting kicks in, Graveyard hit the stage running and the opening section of the show is simply stunning. 'No Good Mr Holden' and 'Hisingen Blues' are two of the best tracks from the new album, and both are delivered with power, passion and raw energy. Joakim Nilsson is suffering from a bout of flu tonight, but you certainly wouldn't be able to tell, as the vocal delivery is top class, matching the music in every way in terms of the power, passion and soul. 'Lost In Confusion', with its superbly catchy guitar hook, goes back to the first album and continues the momentum. 'Uncomfortably Numb', a mean and moody heavy blues epic from the new album has the air of early Free to it, and as it builds to a powerful climax, has the audience transfixed. The material from the new album comes across exceptionally strong, and clearly impresses the members of the audience who may not yet be familiar with it.


The middle section of the show concentrates on more familiar material from the first album, with 'Satan's Finest', 'As The Years Pass By' and 'The Thin Line' all going down a treat. There's some fine extended jamming going on in some of these tracks, with guitarist Jonatan Ramm excelling alongside Joakim in the guitar department and Rikard and Axel providing flair and groove to the rhythm section.


The last song of the set, 'The Siren', is for me the outstanding moment of the 'Hisingen Blues' album, and live comes across even better. A dynamic and delightful slice of prime heavy blues rock, it's the perfect way to close a superb set. The band gets a rapturous reception before returning for an encore of the excellent 'Blue Soul' from the first album.


Graveyard are an excellent 70's-inspired heavy psychedelic blues outfit, oozing power, passion and soul. The new album 'Hisingen Blues' is a fine effort, but tonight they showed that it's in the live environment that they really excel.


This was simply one outstanding gig.