With its grand, church-like exterior, Manchester’s Deaf Institute isn’t your most typical of gig venues – it’s even wallpapered. Nevertheless it played host the Germanic doom-meets-psychedelic trio Kadavar and two varying support acts. Each band on the bill tonight, all hailing from different countries and bringing a variety of styles and accents to the intimate stage, makes for interesting viewing.
With only a small cluster of early arrivals to play to, it was always going to be hard for local band Those Rotten Thieves, with their strong Mancunian accents to tear the house down. Their raw, pink-edged rock n’ roll sound is rough around the edges in an enjoyable way. They lure a few people from the downstairs bar to the front of the stage, but they never quite had a good enough impact to make a lasting impression. They were entertaining but nothing more.
A hard touring band, South-Wales four-piece Buffalo Summer have built up a respectable following over the past few years as their hard work is beginning to show signs of paying dividends. With a chunky bass tone, Darren King’s rhythmic work helped bolster Jonny Williams’ bouncing, bluesy riffs. But it is in their charismatic frontman, Andrew Hunt, who draws comparisons to a young Robert Plant or a Slash-fronting Myles Kennedy that is the highlight of the set. Early on, he seems a little reserved but as the set progresses he seems to break out from his shell and shows us what he is truly capable of. It’s a lively, rousing set which will do their ever-growing fan base no harm.
Ultimately however, Kadavar give a headline performance deserving of a bigger stage and run away with the show. Encompassed by a powerful stage presence, their Deep Purple flavoured jams, generously lathered in wah-guitar, animalistic drums and guttural bass left mouths agape. Each member was a joy to watch, with drummer tiger in particular making his average sized kit sound four times its size. He provided a solid heartbeat to the band all the while unleashing relentless fills left right and centre. As a result, frontman Wolf Lindemann was granted with a huge degree of creative freedom to improvise and flaunt his soulful playing.
Living In Your Head provided an early highlight, ushering a sing-along from the crowd, but it was later in the set, when they enveloped themselves in grooves as smoky as the venue itself that the killer blows are dealt: Come Back Life and Goddess of Dawn astonish all present. In all, it’s a set that
affirms this band’s status as more than just another rock n’ roll band chasing the same old retro sound. This is the real deal and they’re damn good.
Abra Kadavar is now available to buy from all good stockists now including Nuclear Blast Store.
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