They’ve been away beavering away on their second album – more on that in an interview coming very soon – so it should come as no surprise that Turbowolf had loads of new material to unleash on their recent UK tour. We sent along fanboy Hugh Platt to watch their sold-out London show and write an entirely biased account of how awesome it was.
Six things we learned while watching Turbowolf in London…
1) Warm-up act Hounds do an…okay job in solidifying the giddy buzz in the Barfly tonight. Their set both starts and ends strong – thick with hi-energy pulsing riffs, lurking in the weirdo electro-punk territory that Infadels, Grand Theft Audio and The Ghost Frequency bounced around in the best part of a a decade ago. Whether or not the all-white outfits marks them out as try-hards or not is up for debate, but their altogether fresher punk posture was a better compliment for tonight’s headliner than your usual small-venue support acts.
2) And yes – this is a small venue for Turbowolf. The last time they headed off around the UK they were packing out the Highbury Garage, but the decision to drop-down a venue size is deliberate. This tour is very much a pre-festival blowing-out-the-cobwebs exercise for Turbowolf, and with the set chock-a-block with material no-one outside the band’s inner circle has heard, ensuring that this London show is sold-out with the band’s hardcore fans inarguably makes for a better diving board for the Bristol foursome to test things our.
3) Turbowolf weren’t exaggerating when they coquettishly billed this as “a small tour of new music”. At least half their set is made up of entirely new material, and other than the recently-released ‘Solid Gold’ and ‘American Mirrors’ (which itself prior to this tour had been publicly aired so few times you could count them on your thumbs), this stuff was 100% new to everyone in attendance. It’s the reaction that Turbowolf get to these new songs that truly solidifies just how much of the real-deal they are – the crowd go as nuts for ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ and ‘Good Hand’ as they do for songs that have been staples of the Turbowolf live set for years.
4) That long history of gigging means that even after an extended break, Turbowolf’s live prowess is beyond impressive. Even when the band mess up – such as when Chris inadvertently drops perennial set-closer ‘Let’s Die’ right in the middle of the set – it never appears to affect the smooth momentum between all four of the members on stage. These guys have got it down tight – when playing live Turbowolf isn’t so much four individuals as they are a singular creature. Even when they send bass player Lianna Davies crowdsurfing to the bar for a shot of tequila (racing against the extended intro of ‘Solid Gold’, no less), these guys don’t drop a note. They don’t miss a step.
5) Chris Georgiadis has grown into one of British rock’s most compelling frontmen – his stage banter isn’t regurgitated soundbites from rock’s Big Book of Boring Banter – not once does he tell people to looser their shit, or clap their bloody hands, or any of the other things that the dullard frontmen of stylist-primped and PR-puffed bandsmen fall back on when their dullard frontman brains can’t think of a single interesting thing to say or do. The rest of the band are equally ahead of their respective peers. Guitarist Andy Ghosh doesn’t so much use overdrive pedals as he does hyperdrive ones. The rhythm section of Lianna and Blake (surname-sharing but no relation) Davies connects with whatever remnant of the tribal, lizard brain that lurks inside mens’ skulls and makes them want to pound the ground until the gods can hear them.
6) The second Turbowolf record was already one of our most-anticipated releases of 2014, and after tonight it will have shot up the priority list of everyone else privileged enough to have been at the Barfly tonight. Actually scratch that – we’ve got no doubt that feeling is shared by damn near everyone who caught this entire tour. That anticipation is no longer just for the sweet taste of new music from Turbowolf will bring, but the bigger, better, louder and brasher tour that will follow in that release’s wake. Man, we’re sick of waiting already.