I don’t need much swaying to go to a gig. A couple of months ago, a friend who caught Turbowolf at Download in 2014 asked if I was going. A quick search on YouTube and after listening to “Rabbit’s Foot”, I’ll admit; I was impressed. Five minutes later, my bank balance had taken a small hit and I had plans for the night of 27th October. Funny coincidence.
Fast forward to the night in question and the friend who told me about them wasn’t able to attend. Cutting my losses, I ignored the dark and rainy surroundings which go hand in hand with gigs in Glasgow at this time of year, and headed for a lesser-frequented venue, Stereo.
The first band, Loom, are already onstage. Or I should say, crammed onto it. In fairness, Stereo is rather small. The band themselves look like a high school band who all identify as different sub-cultures but have come together to make music because there’s no one else about. Much of the music is forgettable with the exception of one song sounding vaguely like Duff McKagan’s Loaded entitled “Get Out of Your Mind”. Coupled with no introduction of the songs or the band itself didn’t sit well with me. No mention of merchandise on sale and most irritatingly, no word of thanks for the earnest applause the mustered from the small crowd.
Then there were the overly dramatic tumbles off the stage and pacing around the floor from the lead singer before collapsing in a heap back on the stage and limply stating “This is our last song”. And when that was done, he dropped his microphone before swiftly disappearing into the crowd, leaving his bandmates to dismantle their equipment. All part of the act: fair enough but it does nothing for me. Unprofessional: it does less than nothing for me. Either way, I’m in no rush to see them again.
Next up, we have Beasts. I missed them open for Theory of a Deadman in April, howeve Mosh touched on them in our review. I have to say, I agree fully with what he said back then. Though we did have a bit of a Spinal Tap moment as frontman Joe Mallory-Skinner said this was the band’s second time in Birmingham.
After setting up the stage themselves, Turbowolf take their places to a raucous reaction. After a shaky start with Chris Georgiadis’ vocals submerged by the din of the music, they’re beefed up and can tell what he’s actually singing. And from there, it was a no-holds-barred hour of full-blast rock and roll. With each member of the four piece exuding sheer energy and the front half of the venue turning into one surging beast, it was difficult to choose where to look. I can’t remember the last time I was at a gig and witnessed a crowd with such enthusiasm for the band and music.
It was easy to see that each band member was giving everything they had in this well-crafted show. Sweaty and unforgiving, Turbowolf nor the crowd refused to let up. With Lianna Lee Davies playing bass like an electric guitar, Blake Davies putting his drum kit through its paces and Andy Gosh effortlessly pulling riffs from thin air fronted by the naturally charismatic Georgiadis, they’re tighter and more entertaining than many of the far more established acts playing bigger venues. Georgiadis is one of the most captivating frontmen I’ve seen in a long time, easily taking command of the crowd in a similar vein to Freddie Mercury. Maybe it’s a moustache thing.
With heavy hitters from their new album, Two Hands, like “Rabbit’s Foot”, “American Mirrors” and “Solid Gold” receiving as warm a welcome as songs from their self-titled debut like “Good Hand” and “Read + Write”, it’s fair to say Turbowolf have a passionate following. Both albums received equal attention and if the first album is anything like the second, they didn’t skip any ballads, mainly because they don’t do slow.
Uncompromising rock and roll with an alternative twist to push the boundaries of rock, Turbowolf have a great live show which they should be proud of. I’ve only heard Two Hands a couple of times but I happily walked away having thoroughly enjoyed myself and I’m eager to see them next time.