Turbowolf – Highbury Garage, London

By Tom Aylott

Tonight’s triple pronged British bill at the Garage contains a set of bands making distinct types of heavy rock, and there’s little doubt that London’s in for an ear-bleeder.

The venue is already full by the time openers THE JAMES CLEAVER QUINTET take to the stage. Punktastic has seen the band many times from their conception through til the present day, and they’ve never been as tight as they are now. Their recent signing to Hassle has helped them go from strength to strength, and tracks from their debut release on the label, ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’, sound urgent and exciting. There’s a few bands that they can be compared to, but no-one quite the same, and the only way from here really is up.

Next up, HAWK EYES continue to shed their previous skin of the Chickenhawk moniker by powering forward with new material, and they shine through much brighter with a decent sound at the Garage tonight than they did the previous time we saw them at the Barfly. Once the new EP gets a proper airing, the band stand a real chance of breaking through, and tonight shows they have no problems delivering live.

Finally, filthy basement rock powerhouses TURBOWOLF end off the night. There’s something so captivating about their music, only enhanced in the live setting, and the tracks from their recent self-titled album (which this tour supports) sound impressive and are delivered perfectly. By the end of their set, the upstairs of the Garage is sweating profusely after a fantastic evening of heavy, homegrown talent. Turbowolf may wear their influences heavily on their sleeves, but when they’re so much fun to watch, who really even gives a fuck?