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"Enter At Your Own Risk...", The Entrance Band @Stairway Club (Cascais, Por) 08/5/14 Live Report

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The 8th of May is marked as one of the most powerful gigs ever attended by your humble scribe.

Anticipation was high amongst the crowd and, as soon as the first notes were struck, we were embarking on a journey through decades of music all rolled up into one continuous motion. Reminiscing Texan rhythms of the 60's, combined with heavy Birmingham authority and never forgetting an 80's sensibility with a more bare bones approach, The Entrance Band presented us with a relentless set of contagious songs that leave the audience breathless with such a galvanizing start. A mixture of raved up garagey beat and the freedom of a guitar in full on fuzzed and delayed wah wah abandon mark the sound of The Entrance Band.

With their version of The Troggs 'I Want You', The Entrance Band raise the bar up high to the point that the already supercharged original is overshadowed and it becomes their song. If Hendrix had done this song instead of 'Wild Thing', it would sound similar to this though maybe not as wild and free flowing. Also, the vocal delivery is such that despair comes seeping through the cracks, making this a more heartfelt version.

Some minor technical problems, most notoriously a broken guitar string and a pedal battery that wouldn't cooperate, doesn't derail the performance. Six strings, five strings, give or take a pedal, it becomes a minor detail and only halfway through the concert occurs the changing of strings and a new life injection on that stubborn pedal.

It's exactly halfway through the show that a transformation happens and the audience finally realizes the trap they had just stepped into. We were served with straight on rock and now we were starting to feel the effects of what we had just ingested. And what potent effects they were... All this because it was then that The Entrance Band decided to let us in their own little world of improvisation and longer songs. Therefore, more hypnotic. What seemed to be sunshine and an ocean breeze turns into a nocturnal trip through a forest with no lights to guide us. Long strolls through the Black Forest and, simultaneously, through windless deserts. Hypnotic rhythms with no end in sight.

© olhos«Ä»zumbir

Regarding the band, what can one say about a left handed guitar player that plays with a right handed guitar without changing the order of the strings? For those who know even just a little about the instrument, it's slightly disorientating to observe a certain subversion of how to play the guitar. The focus is also turned to the drummer that can pull off simple rhythms à lá Monks and stray off into Mitch Mitchell powerlight flourishes with the brutality of, say, Blue Cheer and with the lightning fast right foot of John Bonham. Sometimes, it seems like it will lose control of what's going on, only to be saved at the last nanosecond of time keeping. Like someone falling off a ravine and caught at the very last instant. So enthralling is the drumming, one almost forgets the bass which appears to be simple but is actually delicate and intricate, lifting the songs higher than any other bass player could do.

The truth is we had entered a space and, though we couldn't see any exit signs, we know no harm will happen to us. We are in good company of three travelers that reveal the entrance even though they don't seem to know exactly how to leave this place. Then again, they don't seem too worried about it as well.

© olhos«Ä»zumbir

Report made by Carlos Ferreira/2014
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