Live Review: Turbowolf with Hyena and Dolomite Minor at Newcastle Academy – 15th April 2015

By on Monday, 20th April 2015 at 2:00 pm
 

For those that prefer to spend their evenings running into each other at full speed, this Wednesday the Academy in Newcastle upon Tyne obliged by hosting, a trio of acts purveying the heavier side of rock, perfect for moshing to. Telford’s Hyena were up first, a quartet of young chaps promoting their recent release ‘Mental Home’, which conjures up all sorts of pleasant memories of discovering the delights of Queens of the Stone age. They’ve also put a nice waltz in the middle. Well worth checking out.

TGTF was ostensibly here to have a listen to heavy rock duo Dolomite Minor, who first came to my attention as doing the rounds of all the big urban music festivals last year, but who I failed to see at any point on their travels. Tonight’s performance sees them a little, shall we say, under-motivated, duck-toed singer and guitarist Joe Grimshaw wanly peering out between curtains whilst spidery fingers pluck away on his guitar. Their live presentation does them no favours, really: on record they sound enormous, chromatic riffing and robotic vocals combining with a massive drum sound to great effect. But, like seeing the workings of a magic trick, watching the two young chaps of Dolomite Minor deliver their music dilutes its power somewhat. There’s little in the way of movement or audience interaction – at one point, after asking how everyone’s doing and getting only a few half-hearted whoops in reply, Grimshaw’s retort is “same as last night,” which seems unnecessarily churlish.

Presentational challenges aside, Dolomite Minor do have some good tunes, particularly if you’re a fan of the flattened fifth: in ‘Talk Like An Aztec’, guitars in various states of distress revolve around said interval, ‘Let Me Go’ takes a ’50s rock ‘n’ roll swagger and adds the requisite crunching riffs underneath a slap-backed vocal, and ‘When I’m Dead’ adds more than a hint of psych-drone which is an interesting direction that the group could explore further. The band do thaw out a bit towards the end of the set, so that ‘Watch Yourself’ ends up a thrilling multi-movement romp with a fine climax. If these guys could loosen up a bit, look like they’re enjoying themselves, and get the crowd going a bit more, they could be a big draw.

Loosening up is something that Turbowolf are experts at. Frontman Chris Georgiadis (the word “singer” simply doesn’t do justice to his talents) is expert at getting the crowd onside right from the moment he steps onstage to whoops of delight. “Onside” is the right word because he spends plenty of time on the wrong side of the barriers, interacting with the mosh pit, inviting lucky punters to sing into the microphone: most people know the songs word-for-word, if not note-for-note, and they’re not afraid to show it.

Musically, Turbowolf are all about big, swinging riffs, twisted lead parts and Georgiadis’ turned-up-to-11 vocals, often played at breakneck speed. The crowd are exhorted to mosh and do that weird, pulsating, crash-into-each-other dance that brings so much pleasure to young men. A memorable, often surreal performance, which would work fantastically well on a festival stage – Turbowolf are to be found at The Great Escape, 2000 Trees, and Kendal Calling over the summer.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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