An entire dissertation could be written on the bad points of opening band The James Cleaver Quintet, but the main reason they were so awful is their indecision. Whenever a brief hint of tolerable noise issued forth from their direction it was instantly replaced, more often than not with a terrible mess of confused notes. The main highlight of their set was when the band boasted to a half empty room that most of their fans were from Manchester. Thankfully, their set was short and not many were around to see it.
Hawk Eyes (until recently known as Chickenhawk) picked things up more than a little. After the openers, it was a relief to see hardcore pieced together much more skilfully. Blistering vocals and a smooth yet powerful instrumental section held the set together and a real confidence to develop complex ideas shined through, especially in light of the previous band.
Main attraction of the night, Turbowolf, started in dramatic enough fashion with a haunting sampled entrance, smashing straight into a frenzied ‘Aincient Snake’, setting the pace for the rest of the night. Snarling, heavy and haunting sums up the whole set, with scarcely a dip throughout. Chris Geordiadis doesn’t so much burst as much as explode with energy, a style that suits his gruff vocals and large use of organesque keyboards fantastically. Singles ‘Read & Write’ and ‘A Rose for the Crows’ really hooked into the crowd effortlessly, a breakdown in the latter causing one of the most amazingly sinister sites I’ve seen in all my gig going days; a near full room of people slowly moshing in time. The only time the band lost the crowd was when they broke out a seriously altered cover of Jefferson Aeroplane’s ‘Somebody to Love’, which confused those watching into silence.
Overall though, the two latter bands were excellent. Plenty of pace, power and presence meaning everybody left with a smile on their face and sweat on their back.