15th March | Trinity
Bristol hard rockers, Turbowolf packed out the Trinity Centre on Thursday night, playing to an energetic and raucous crowd. Although gigging in an old church couldn’t be further from what was initially planned (they were booked for the dark and sweaty Bierkeller before it suddenly shut down), the loud and lively vibe was definitely still there.
After some heavy-hitting sets from the two tour support acts, Big Spring and Puppy, Turbowolf entered the stage to yelps of approval. Chris Georgiadis’ white suit and floral shirt were particularly dazzling under the lighting. It looked a bit like an alternative reality where Frank Zappa had starred in Saturday Night Fever instead of John Travolta. Which would have been amazing, of course.
The vocals were a little drowned out under the crushing combination of unison guitar and bass riffs and chest-wrenching kick drum for the first couple of tracks, but this naturally smoothed out as the set progressed. The crowd certainly weren’t fazed, with the front half of the hall erupting in a sweaty mosh pit from the word go.
The band’s third album The Free Life had been released just before their week-long tour of the UK started, this being the final leg of the UK before launching into Europe. It was clear the band were revelling in taking the new tunes out on the road, as were the crowd. But the place did noticeably blow up when old banger, ‘Rabbits Foot’ came chugging in about five tracks into the set.
Turbowolf’s show was unrelenting throughout. Andy Ghosh and Lianna Lee Davies churned enormous overdriven riff after overdriven riff out at the bouncing, grinning crowd. But when every song is as heavy as the last, the impact can get a little dulled. To tackle this, the band had a couple of amusingly surreal intermission moments. At one point, Chris Georgiadis chucked a shawl over his face, dimmed the stage lights, and sang along to the 1940s tune ‘Run Rabbit Run’ that had begun blaring out of the speakers (which will never be anything but one of the creepiest songs in existence after the treatment it received in the film Get Out).
A particular peak of the show was certainly when singer Chris jumped off the stage and conducted the crowd into a huge ring, wielding a bouquet of white flowers, and singing call-and-response howls with members of the soon-to-be mosh pit. As the band increased in tension from their quietest playing all gig, and Chris returned to the stage, mosh members started popping across the vacuum like atoms energised by a heat source. Before long it was a grinding mesh of bouncing headbangers. Flourishes of showmanship like this are one of the band’s major strong suits.
Overall, Turbowolf’s show was a completely classic rock gig. It wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a stage at Reading and Leeds during the 2000s. It didn’t push any boundaries. It didn’t take any risks or do anything unexpected. But it was a lot of fun. So, if you like your rock unpretentious, loud, and in your face, then feel the FOMO and make sure to attend next time Turbowolf swing through their home town.