19 October 2010
It was like I had never been away. Oh, the instantly recognisable feel of a student union club! It could have been in any town up and down the country. Only difference is this one can attract rising bands to play in their ample sized venue while most importantly retaining as close to student beer prices as you’re likely to find in London. The venue was surprisingly spacious, plus the sound & lights was more than satisfactory. Quite amusingly though the stage had a band riser in true 80’s arena rocker style. Still its all character hey!
I was excited about the prospect of seeing TurboWolf, a band I’ve been meaning to catch for a while. It didn’t take long for them to warrant my attention. Scuzzy metal riffing over an electro backdrop and a small factory of distortion pedals drive the ultra-heavy but always melodic backdrop. Their riffs have a real spark which ignites the primeval nature to neck your beer, push aside the girls and rock the f**k out!
Irresistibly bold statements of noise were backed with impassioned vocals from gypsy punk Eugene Hutz, look-a-likie who flew across stage with a an almost rabid air of reckless endangerment. Leaping from the drum kits (the drum riser used to optimal effect) at every opportunity he was almost the perfect front man. He was missing one thing though…a voice! His screech howls were massively overwhelmed by the band and pretty much inaudible. A shame really, but with some live rig adjustments these guys could go the way of tonight headliners..up, up, up!
Almost a year ago, we first witnessed the power of the grunge revivalists Dinosaur Pile-Up who massively impressed with their “we’re not quite Nirvana vibe and their cracking optimistic rock tunes. Tonight they build upon that initial footing and have crafted a very solid set of tracks taken from their debut album Growing Pains (review). Looking more and more like a Cobain-a-like lead singer/guitarist was expertly trading grungy riffs with up-tempo power chord blasts of down tuned glory.
Some will instantly call them grunge, but their optimistic sing-a-long tunes and energetic delivery defies the tag, yet Matt Bigland’s vocals have shifted towards Kurt-mania somewhat since I last saw them. This is especially true on their slower tunes which make up for their lack of pace with a brooding slow burning sense that something is on the verge of exploding. It usually does as the band kicks back in, mixing up their soft and loud’s with expert precision! However there were far too many songs of this variety on show tonight, which slightly soured the performance! But as soon as they explode back into another hard rocking classic like Birds & Planes, Traynor or My Rock and Roll…all is forgiven!
A very high standard was on display from two of the UK’s finest young rock and rollers!