The German psychedelic/stoner rock band Kadavar is currently on tour and one of the stops was Hamburg recently. The special guests were post-punkers Grave Pleasures and Dutch/Swedish formation Death Alley. I was especially eager to see Grave Pleasures since their recent album “Motherblood” is on heavy rotation and became my favorite album of 2017!
First band was Death Alley. They have been formed in Amsterdam by the former bandmembers of The Devil’s Blood, Gewapend Beton and Mühr. Their style is a mixture of rock’n’roll with psychedelic influences.
It’s not always usual that the first act captivates the audience and keeps them going but with their short but dynamic set, Death Alley managed to catch the attention of the audience from the start. The audience was already eager and willing to headbang and enjoy the show thanks to the band’s amazing aura and power! The overall performance of the band was dynamic but even progressive. A groovy one with 60s/70s vibe as seen from the outfit of the bandmembers so they definitely managed to deliver that atmosphere to the audience!
I also wanna point out that it wasn’t only the vocalist or the guitarists that I found impressive but the band as a whole is really energetic and they delivered the rock’n’roll spirit really well! With each song, they got the audience moving. My personal highlights were the vocalist’s nice and cool attitude (and those moves!) and of course Uno’s amazing and progressive drumming. The band also seemed really happy to be back as the vocalist stated. Overall, an impressive and amazing performance from them! Furthermore, the band recently announced that they are signed to Century Media and that the new album is on the way so good things are definitely on the way for them! A kick-ass band with amazing power and attitude!
Grave Pleasures next… When it comes to apocalyptic post-punk, these British/Finnish guys come to mind. Formed as Beastmilk originally, the band underwent line-up changes a few years ago and changed their name to Grave Pleasures. The recent album “Motherblood” received quite a positive feedback and so the celebration was on for tonight! I was especially curious to see how the new songs would work out live.
An immense energy and lots of dancing&headbanging.. That’s how the band started their set with “Infatuation Overkill” and “Doomsday Rainbows” from “Motherblood”. Just as the album’s energy, the new songs worked so well live and definitely got the audience going! Considering the band didn’t have a long set, they focused more on the new songs and I gotta say… it was just as beautiful and powerful as the album!
With an interesting and colorful history of the band, some Beastmilk songs were also expected and the band didn’t disappoint the crowd and played “Fear Your Mind” from the Beastmilk era. However, the new songs got me more hooked. It was especially surprising to hear “Atomic Christ” from the new album live. Surely, the song’s atmosphere is quite different in the album with both David Tibet & Mat in the vocals but the song was definitely one of the highlights. Furthermore, it was amazing to see how the band worked so well live as a whole. The guitarist Aleksi was dancing throughout the songs while playing the guitar and the charismatic frontman Mat’s talent as well as outfit and attitude was quite magical!
At the end of the show, the band finished their set with “Joy Through Death” and said goodbye to the audience. What an amazing performance even though it was too short! I was there especially for Grave Pleasures and a part of me wished they had been the main act. The stage performance was just spectacular and I am definitely so happy to see Grave Pleasures rocking as a whole after many ups and downs!
Time for Kadavar… Formed in 2010, they can be considered quite young but the band has come a long way and released 4 full-length albums so far.
Even before the band conquered the stage, the venue got even more full and we could smell certain stuff from the rows in the back (*cough* 420 *cough*)…. It was my first time seeing these guys live and my first impression from the stage decoration was “wow”. The drums were in the middle and the band’s logo caught my eye.
As someone who is not familiar with the music, the band impressed me. I just loved the contrast between the band being so chill and relaxed but playing some rock’n’roll and making the audience go crazy… Well, that’s just what this genre is all about. Sometimes you rock and sometimes you chill 😉 It also didn’t matter if the band played new or the old stuff, the audience had the energy from the start and although some old songs had a more powerful reaction, the fans were more than satisfied!
During the live performance, it was also really interesting to see how 3 guys could deliver such dynamic songs live. Drums, guitars and bass and that’s all it took for Kadavar to deliver a great performance. Especially the drums in the middle added a certain flavour to the overall stage; it’s not typical for me to focus on drums more in a live show but that was the case with Kadavar! Overall, it was a great performance filled with some psych tunes and amazing atmosphere.
3 different bands, 3 different styles but what an amazing night!
The bands as well as the audience were definitely in the mood to dance and to headbang!
Catch them on tour if you can, you won’t regret it!
Text: Başak Günel
Photos by Heavy Harlequin