LIVE: Black Spiders / Turbogeist, Highbury Garage 04/12/14
I first heard of Turbogeist when someone sent me their EP last year, and I have to say I was quite impressed on first listen, although I am ashamed to say it’s taken me until tonight on the Black Spiders tour to finally actually catch them live. A lurching sonic battering ram, somehow Turbogeist manage to keep an edge of melody and a few decent choruses in their dark dirty punk rock, played with a fair intensity and venom at London’s Garage tonight.
Tracks like Mermaid’s Revenge and the wonderfully bonkers Alien Girl certainly are great fun grubby rock and roll, but unfortunately, as a band with only one EP and a couple of singles to their name to date, they are a bit too short on killer punches to be playing a main support slot. Turbogeist show a lot of promise, but do perhaps need to reign in the cockiness and showboating onstage, and come back with a few more big hitting tracks before they’ll get much further.
With no current album or single to promote that I’m aware of, this Black Spiders tour seems to have no other purpose than a good rock out for the fans to close off the year. Throwing some big guns out there in the first ten minutes, including their signature tune Stay Down, with frontman Pete Spiby leading the crowd in several rousing choruses of the two fingers up chant “Fuck you Black Spiders!” (if you’ve seen Black Spiders before, you’ll know the bit I mean), they state their intent as pure entertainers early on. You don’t have to be a huge fan to be drawn into the fun of it all, I mean, you try and watch them play Kiss Tried To Kill Me (it was Gene not Paul, folks), and not crack a smile.
One thing you can guarantee when you give the fans any say in choosing the setlist, as Black Spiders have done for this tour via an online poll, is that you are pretty much guaranteed to get all the hits, and this show is no exception. Singles and favourites including St Peter, Just Like A Woman and What Good’s a Rock Without a Roll? from the Sons Of The North album, as well as newer stuff such as Stick It To The Man, Balls and ear-ringing Motorhead-homage Teenage Knife Gang from last year’s This Savage Land, all get an airing tonight, guaranteeing a constant energy in the devotee-heavy crowd.
The only thing they did perhaps slip up on was that they left nothing big in reserve for the encore, choosing instead to end on an extended cover of AC/DC’s Kicked In The Teeth. But that’s a minor quibble, this was a good showing as usual from Black Spiders tonight, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing them again in 2015.