German three-piece psych rockers the Samsara Blues Experiment are a band that very much let their playing do the talking. With no affected stage antics or outlandish outfits, and an absence of talk between songs, their 90 minute set at the Crown and Anchor on Sunday night was all about the music. And some great music at that.
The words were also few and far between within the songs themselves, the brief lyrical interludes serving as punctuation between the extended instrumentals that characterise the material. This is no-frills prog rock from three very talented guys.
Those who packed into a sweaty Cranker band-room on Sunday evening were treated to a searing soundscape with hypnotic power. It was certainly worth the crush of bodies.
Kicking off with 2010’s ‘Singata (Mystic Queen)’, the set list showcased material from last year’s absorbing odyssey, One With the Universe while also dipping into earlier work.
The great appeal of the Samsara Blues Experiment’s songs lies in the construction, each with various movements taking the piece in different, and often surprising directions. It’s great, immersive stuff and best appreciated in a live performance.
Christian Peters is an excellent guitarist, driving the material with a tasty repertoire of riffs and solos. When he occasionally switching to the keyboards, the music satisfyingly shifts gears. But the Experiment work as a real unit, with Thomas Vedder on drums and Hans Eiselt on bass keep things together and create excellent dynamics in the pieces.
Everything feels like an extended jam, but you get the sense that it’s actually precise and careful planning that renders every note and each musical change so effectively.
The Samsara Blues Experiment offers a unique blend of Metallica, Pink Floyd and The Doors with some Indian raga thrown in for good measure. It’s a great live show, so be sure to catch them if the outfit comes near your town!
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor