In the music world, progressive rock in particular, would be a much lesser place if it were not for the likes of the very talented Daniel Gildenlow. This is a bloke who has more talent and ideas in his little toe (I can vouch for this as I have actually seen his little toe) than most bands can muster collectively over a lifelong career.
Living with these kind of creative ideas can't be easy for him or his fellow band members. Since I last saw Pain of Salvation in Nov supporting Opeth, two members - keyboardist Frederick Hermansson and guitarist Johann Hallgren have left, and in (and quickly) have come Daniel Karlsson and Ragnar Zolberg. Without these two adapting so quickly, they (POS) could have easily cancelled the tour
Thankfully the new fellas fitted in very well, to the point where POS seem as energised as I have ever seen them, particularly the added vocal dynamic that Zolberg gives them. These two are only currently classed as touring members, but surely Gildenlow can see that they are a perfect fit for the future!
Playing in front of a pretty paltry audience, but a dedicated one, POS opened up with the powerful Softly She Cries one of many tonight making up most of the set from the RS series. Despite suffering with a cold, Gildenlow's voice is in fine form indeed, hitting the guttural throaty sections as well as the much higher screams. Ashes, a regular of their set follows and is a great example of their past (and continued) glory. Linoleum is the first of some audience/Gildenlow banter, and after a few attempts from the willing audience to 'oi!' in the gaps of the riff, the song gets its ass kicked. So much so, that Gildenlow breaks a string early on and no one batters an eyelid. A trio of RS2 and 70's classic rock influenced songs ensued with The Deeper Cut, the emotive '1979 and the 70's heavily influenced To The Shoreline
'Remedy Lane's' Chain Sling proved a highlight of the night, especially due to Zolberg's superb vocals and is as powerful a song as the Hallgren version. This bloke will hopefully prove to be an asset in the long run. Any audience cries throughout the night for Disco Queen fell on stony ground, even though Gildenlow had the whammy pedal up on stage ready to be unleashed. Damn you Gildenlow!!
The last few songs finished the set on a high with the excellent No Way from RS1 and was one of the best received of the night. Final song of the set Enter Rain just had me in goosebumps. Nothings better when all members wade in and harmonise. I'm a sucker for harmonies and layered vocals.
The encore was slightly strange with the lengthy (and part French) Physics of Gridlock, and the final song, 'Sisters an excellent track but for me should have been mid way in the set as it's a relatively subdued way to finish. Hey, but WTF do I know! I still enjoyed the night immensely
Personally I'd have preferred a slightly longer set (possibly 2 hours), as there were some glaring omissions, like the excellent Healing Now, Used, Scarsick and obviously Disco Queen but they weren't to be.
I feel honoured to have seen POS twice in recent months. I just hope the other gigs were better attended than the few at The Robin, otherwise we might only see them restricted to gigs in the capital in years to come. Despite this gripe, POS were utterly superb.