Surprisingly this is my first visit to the Roadhouse in Manchester, being a native you would have thought I’d of been there countless times but alas I haven’t. Tonight is a special night, Turbowolf are finishing up their last few dates of what is a successful first headline tour of the UK, some of Blake’s family are also in attendance tonight and anyone wanting to carry on their weekend fun have an extra nights full of crazy riffs, drinking and a club night straight after the show.
On this string of dates Turbowolf have been allowing local or near local bands to open the show. Tonight we have Liverpool’s Black Magician opening the show to what is really only a handful of the crowd that can be expected later on. On first appearance Black Magician come across as the love children of Black Sabbath worshipping parents mixed with a concoction of metal throughout the ages. Their sound is pretty similar, the stoner, down tempo riff worship you would expect from a band with this image. Unfortunately Black Magician’s arsenal of tracks are similar and have a riff by numbers approach to playing which after their second song becomes boring and you are put in the predicament of looking extremely rude if you leave mid set. Their set was improved by their sound being altered so we could hear them a lot clearer however it made no difference in their monotonous droll sound. (2/5)
After a disappointing start to the show, the basement venue seems to have attracted more viewers and just in time for Leeds’ female fronted riff machiens Black Moth to take to the stage. Now before I carry on I deserve a slap on the wrist for not investigating this band sooner. They have a more stripped down sound than headliners Turbowolf and also give the guys a run for their money. Charismatic, fun and sincere Black Moth are going to be a group to watch out for in 2013. Lead singer Harriet Bevan’s sultry vocal tone and power put a unique twist on the whole riff rock genre. The crowd cannot get enough of this band either, with fans getting involved singing and banging their heads, the night has certainly picked up and is now just missing one thing… (5/5)
Turbowolf head out on to the stage in a barrage of audience chants and screams, the room has finally packed out and everyone is ready for the crazy psychedelic infused riff rock of the Bristol natives. With their album having been out for nearly a year and the release of the new covers EP fresh in peoples minds, tonight’s set promised to be a fun one but could have potentially been a similar listen. Of course this was never going to be the case and Turbowolf sound as exciting as they ever have. Exploding into ‘Ancient Snakes’ Turbowolf execute each track with such power and ferocity that can only be captured live. The crowd explodes into frenzied moshing, awkward stage dives and are generally have a party with the soundtrack being riffs, riffs and more riffs.
We are treated to two covers off their new EP which fit perfectly into their set and the crowd lap them up. Harriet of Black Moth joined Chris on vocal duties for their Jefferson Airplane cover of ‘Somebody To Love’ getting just as involved and showing what a perfect partnering these two bands are touring together. We are also treated to a new track tonight, which excites and pleases the crowd no end. Ending with the madness that is album closer ‘Let’s Die’ Turbowolf have solidified themselves as one of the best live acts in the country. They have it all and here’s hoping 2013 sees them taking their unique sound to bigger venues so they can indulge and explore more crazy avenues in their live show. (5/5)
Words by Robert Maddison (@bertmaddison)