Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

Gig review: Turbowolf @ Sound Control, Manchester

Gig review: Turbowolf @ Sound Control, Manchester

| By Liam Geraghty

To say watching a live performance from Turbowolf would be something of an understatement.

The Bristol rock band made a triumphant return to Manchester on Easter Monday with new bassist Liana Lee Davies – and even newer material – as part of their whistle-stop UK warm-up tour.

After a red-hot 2012 Roadhouse show as part of their first-ever headline tour, the riff-tastic rockers shrugged of a year’s worth of rust to show off material from their upcoming album in their own unique style.

With a fusion of metal and punk with added electronica, the psychedelic group are something of an enigma – and a truly unmissable live act.

Turbowolf were also joined by ostentatious support act Hounds.

Led by a Billy Idol-style bleach-haired frontman, dressed all in white with neon flashes adorning the stage, Hounds were quite a sight to behold.

While their music meshed well with the main event, sonically they weren’t quite on the same level.

After a strong debut anthem and a cheeky covers EP, Turbowolf still show no signs of harnessing their success so far as they still sell their own merchandise and even set up their own gear with no roadies in sight.

The low profile, DIY theme extends to their introduction: no smoke, no lasers, no pyrotechnics as the band step on stage to the sounds of tweeting – the birds rather than the social media site.

It was very much a case of calm before the storm until frontman Chris Georgiadis launched into Big Cut.

The moustachioed Georgiadis is reminiscent of a hippy Rasputin with his sharp facial hair and curly locks, although he has trimmed his hair to appear somewhat more streamlined since the band’s eponymous album hit.

Georgiadis’s stage presence is a key part of the band’s infectious display – leading with boundless energy, hard-edged vocals and witty jests inbetween songs.

And that’s just when he’s on stage – crowd surfing and stage dives prove he’s not above mixing it with the devoted audience.

He later encourages a singalong of ‘Roses are red/ Violets are blue’ to lead into an extended version of first-ever single A Rose for the Crows in one of many altered versions of songs from the original album.

Fellow favourites Let’s Die, much-requested thrash Seven Severed Heads and breathless set-closer Read and Write also hit the mark for nostalgic fans.

With one heckler hopefully asking for a Seven Severed Heads encore, Georgiadis even displayed his rap skills with a witty rhyme – it’s probably the only territory the band are yet to veer into.

Georgiadis singing and synthing is backed up ably by Andy Ghosh’s biting guitar to add the final vital ingredient to the Turbowolf feast.

This is no more evident than in new single Solid Gold: a signal of intent with a slower build-up than the frenetic tunes commonplace in the band’s repertoire – but still maintains the riff-laden core that is the heart of everything the band produce.

The all-important new songs delighted the crowd as a whole, who reliably waste no time in whipping up a fresh frenzy once the hour-long set started.

Fellow new song Rabbit’s Foot is a standout with a funky foot-stomping melody guaranteed to get anybody to bust-a-groove.

Moving up the body, Good Hand also made a debut with similar sparkle while Twelve Houses rounded out the clutch of fresh anthems unleashed on the Manchester crowd.

The message is obvious: Turbowolf have evolved.

And if the new songs are anything to go by, you’d be mad to miss out on catching them all.

Image courtesy of HassleRecords, via YouTube, with thanks.