Black Spiders / Viking Skull / Turbowolf

23 February 2011

Highbury Garage, London


With Arsenal playing a home game, the pubs and streets around the Garage were manic and it was a relief to get into the relative calm of the Garage.  That peace wasn’t set to last for long however, as Turbowolf took the stage and unleashed the Ancient Snake.The four-piece’s sound feels right on the edge, like it could descend into chaos but they’re just retaining a grip on it like riding the crest of a wave.


Mixing rock’n’roll, punk and metal, Turbowolf cover the bases of a mixed crowd and blend them into one cohesive sound.  Frontman Chris Georgiadis, looking like a young Frank Zappa with a voice like a “Turbo”-charged Alice Cooper, effectively adds samples and the odd flourish from a keyboard to his left without being chained to the instrument.  Either side of him, the equally rake thin guitarist Andy Ghosh and bassist Jeremy Dunham throw shapes and cavort, like they are physically connected to the sound.


Georgiadis’ quirky stage banter goes down well with the crowd and having noted some of the crowd looked “tetchy”, he was able to inspire a bit of pit action for Things Could Be Good Again.Signing of with Let’s Die, dedicated to all lovers here tonight, the Bristolians leave with a bunch of new converts to their pack.


Turbowolf setlist:

Ancient Snake / Seven Severed Hands / The Big Cut / Rose For The Crows / Bag O’ Bone / Things Could Be Good Again / Read & Write / Let’s Die


Turbowolf Turbowolf


Despite being around for 9 years, surprisingly this was my first encounter with Viking Skull.Certainly this wasn’t the case for everyone as the, by now, rather busy Garage took a collective step forward.  Less likely to change the world than drink it under the table, the Corby rabble rousers plug in and simply start rocking.


Mixing Orange Goblin style pacey doom with a rock moonshine, Viking Skull’s sound feels like it has come straight out of an American trailer park with titles such as Beers, Drugs & Bitches.  It’s catchy stuff and you can’t help but nod along and be impressed by the lead work of guitarist Dom Wallace.


Whilst frontman Roddy Stone at times looked oddly uncomfortable, his rasp fits the sound perfectly.  Stone advises us that the band have been writing and offer up new song Five Fingers which fit snugly in the set of crowd pleasers.


Viking Skull setlist:

Born In Hell / Wizard’s Sleeve / Beers, Drugs & Bitches / Blackened Sunrise / Red Hot Woman / Start A War / Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey / Five Fingers / Skull Heaven


Viking Skull Viking Skull


Black Spiders seemed to pop up everywhere last year.  You couldn’t sneak out of your tent at a festival without running into them on a stage somewhere.  That hard work has clearly paid off as a near capacity Garage greeted their arrival to the stage.


With a full length album now out and receiving great reviews, Black Spiders initially wrong foot the crowd by opening with the album’s bonus track, confusingly also carrying the albums name, Sons Of The North.  It shows the quality of Black Spiders’ material that this one didn’t make the regular album.  The more familiar Stay Down follows with the line “F**k you and this one horse town”, sung back by the crowd at equal volume to the band.


Last year the Black Spiders setlist did begin to feel familiar an repeat encounters, but for this tour it’s received a welcome refresh with the like’s of Medusa’s Eyes and No Goats in the Omen EP track D&B added.


A chain gang intro tape, with “Tiger” Si Atkinson stood on his kit bathed in red lights, ushered in St Peter mid set.  As ever, this song highlighted the vocal range of Pete “Spider” Spiby with the singer removing the microphone from its stand for a call and response with the crowd at the songs conclusion.


Bassist Adam “The Fox” Irwin was as lively as usual, but he had a special reason to be in a good mood tonight with Spiby telling us it’s his birthday.  Apparently he was 12 years old!


A question of “How many Kiss fans do we have in the audience?” led only to one song with Kiss Tried To Kill Me.Meanwhile the most metal moment of the set is Blood Of The Kings, dedicated to “All you Vikings”; well we do have one at Rockers Digest!


A short encore break saw the band returning for Si, El Diablo and the stoner tinged Meadow.  Two questions were answered tonight with a resounding yes.Are the Black Spiders ready for a headline tour? and is the UK ready for them?


Black Spiders setlist:

Sons Of The North / Stay Down / Medusa’s Eyes / D&B / St Peter / Man’s Ruin / Just Like A Woman / What Good’s A Rock Without A Roll / Kiss Tried To Kill Me / Blood Of The Kings / Si, El Diablo / Meadow


Black Spiders Black Spiders