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The Peel, Kingston 5 February 2011
packed house at the Peel tonight for the official launch gig of the new
Pallas album 'XXV'. The album is creating quite a stir in Prog circles
at the moment, so the anticipation is pretty high. After an initial
delay due to some technical hitches, Pallas decide to scrap the original
plan to play two sets in favour of one almighty two hour set.
The band hit the stage and launch into the opening four tracks from XXV,
which despite a few sound hitches, sound pretty damn fine, especially
the frenzied 'Crash and Burn'. Bassist Graeme Murray declares 'you're
gonna get XXV tonight whether you like it or not', and clearly there's
few, if any, 'nots' in the crowd.
A break from the XXV material see the band deliver two tracks from
2001's 'The Cross & the Crucible' - 'For The Greater Glory' & 'Midas
Touch' - as well as 'Ratracing' and 'Ghostdancers' to a good response
from a crowd that's a little slow to warm up tonight.
Tonight's gig is really all about XXV, so from hereon in it's the whole
of the rest of the album in sequence, and this is where the performance
really shifts into another gear.
Paul Mackie dons a pretty sinister looking mask for 'Alien Messiah',
which, combined with the lighting, gives a real theatrical effect to the
emotional 'Violet Sky' brings the mood down before a pretty mind blowing
end to the set with colossal the album closer 'XXV part 2'. If the crowd
were a bit slow to warm up earlier, they're boiling now!
The band return to the stage for a superb encore of the epic 'Sanctuary'
from the 'Knightmoves' EP and finish off by returning to the original
Sentinel album with a razor sharp version of early classic Cut and Run.
XXV is a great album and it comes across live exceptionally well. My
only complaint would be that they perhaps should have performed the
whole thing from start to finish instead of breaking it up in the
This was the first time I've seen Pallas in a very long time, and I was
hugely impressed with new singer Paul Mackie who has a great voice and
stage presence to match.
With a hotly
anticipated appearance at this summer's High Voltage Festival to look
forward to, and armed with a cracking new album, things are on the rise
and photos by Jim Rowland
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