Review by Paul Castles, Photos by Rich Ward
At first Kadaver and Buffalo Summer may seem like an unlikely pairing, but what they do both possess is a distinct 70’s vibe. Adding local band Vandaliers to the bill, and what the Slade Rooms got was a night packed full of retro groove played by fresh talent.
Local boys, Vandaliers, opened the evening to a small crowd that pulled in more as they continued to play. Wearing a Led Zep T-shirt gives you some idea of where they’re coming from, and their short but sweet set is drenched in 70’s blues rock delivered with confidence and humour. Definitely a band worth catching again.
Buffalo Summer were a revelation when our paths crossed for the first time a little under a year ago. A number of well placed support slots since have only served to make them an even tighter unit. Opening with the familiar ‘She’s All Natural’, the support set allows them to continue by cherry picking the very best from their debut album, whilst throwing in a couple of new songs for good measure. If ‘Over rated’ and ‘Money’ are a sign of things to come, then their next album should be something special indeed. By the time the finale of ‘Down To The River’ and ‘Typhoid Mary’ hit, they have succeeded in leaving you wanting for more. Hopefully they should have picked up a few new followers tonight. RW
When you think of German bands it’s probably the industrial heavy hitting powerhouses in the shape of something like Rammstein that spring to mind. Kadavar, however, are far removed from those anvil smashing fire breathers.
What you get with this likeable trio of hirsute headbangers is a psychedelic ride straight back to the smoke filled 70s. With riffs that can elevate you into a hypnotic haze, Kadavar’s blossoming reputation has escalated rapidly on the back of their wonderfully creative Abra Kadavar album.
The band’s second full length release, significantly their deal with Nuclear Blast Records has given them the confidence, and perhaps more importantly the backing, to take their Teutonic threads on a globe conquering crusade. This was their first UK visit but unfortunately having sold out the Borderline in London the night before, the Midlands showed a slightly disappointing level of interest in their Black Country stop off.
The Slade Rooms attracted only about half the size of crowd that Baroness pulled in a few days earlier but to this observer at least, the German trio are every bit as appealing and engaging as the Virginians. Ambling onto the stage without so much as a cursory glance at the crowd, Christoph Bartelt climbed onto his stool, Kristoff Lindemann picked up his guitar and Simon Bouteloup his bass and immediately opened with ‘All Our Thoughts’ from the Germans’ debut self-titled album.
For those yet to have their paths crossed by Kadavar, the sound is a swirling kaleidoscope of infectious riffs that has the essence of Sabbath, along with a sprinkling of Hawkwind and Zeppelin, running through its veins.
The era of 70s prog is further embraced with all three band members sporting long straight hair and facial growth of epic proportions. Although retro in sound and appearance, Kadavar are certainly not some pale tribute act. The sound is fresh, vibrant, energetic and completely overpowers you as Bouteloup and Lindemann cast their smothering spells around the room with the conviction of a senior member of the Magic Circle.
Between the pair Bartelt is a sweaty stick swirling demon firing the engine that powers this German trio with the efficiency of a Frankfurter factory. Kristof’s high-pitched vocal delivery captivated the Slade Rooms on numbers such as ‘Doomsday Machine’ and ‘Comeback Life’ from Abra Kadavar.
The only hitch during an otherwise perfect set was during the epic ‘Eye of a Storm’ when Kristoff suddenly downed tools (guitar) and left the stage. Briefly uncertain as to where the frontman had ventured, he quickly returned carrying a new guitar, having obviously suffered instrument failure, perhaps a broken string? With admirable stoicism the remaining duo kept the sound flowing like the Heineken on a Berlin booze bus.
With Sabbath themselves back on the road, and the likes of Orchid and Graveyard also showing a healthy penchant for turning back the clock to a pre-digital age, anyone under about 45 has the chance to get that vibe that first started the original wheels of metal turning.
Recently back from the States, Kadavar head Down Under next, with Sweden’s Blue Pills. The Aussies are in for a treat.
See more of Rich’s photos here;