TurboWolf + Black Moth + Cytota @ HMV Institute, Birmingham – Sunday 14th October

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Review by Peter Keevil

A solid 3 band bill on an autumn Sunday night in central Brum, gets our Editor, Peter Keevil out from behind his laptop to sample some Ancient Egyptian Space Rock.

Opening band are Birmingham’s own Cytota.  They look like a bunch of nice clean cut boys straight out of uni playing post-hardcore shouty/clean type of stuff. Their set draws a few nods and foot tapping from a standoffish crowd, no one really into it enough to break that imaginary crowd barrier 20 feet from the stage that every opening act needs to overcome. What these guys need to do is video their live performance, play it back and improve on their stagecraft to help them do so. They have an ep out called Prosecutor.

It’s Black Moth‘s first time in Birmingham and singer Harriet Bevan does exactly what the first band didn’t, she invites the audience to take those few steps forward and immediately breaks the ice and gives the Sunday night crowd permission to loosen up.

The Leeds quintet then proceed the bludgeon those foolhardy enough to venture forward with a heavy yet catchy punkish-doom-fest of overdriven guitars, growling bass and a kick drum that gives you a Doctor Who like 2nd heartbeat, threatening to break free from your chest Nostromo-style.

Bevan then leads us in a bewitching St Vitus Dance, part innocence, part beguiling she is that girl next door who you always had a sneaky feeling was a dominatrix. She is surrounded by an all-male harem of testosterone fuelled feedback and down tuned menace.

Black Moth’s debut album The Killing Jar is out now and if this their first visit to Birmingham then I suggest you get in the queue for the second before it sells out!

Bristol’s Turbowolf defy definition – a physical maelstrom of guitar-fused-synth-in-your-face-soul-of-the-party-space-rock – see I told you so!

This is their first headline tour and backed by an outrageous inflatable sarcophagus, the Zappa-looking singer/synth-meister Chris Georgiadis orchestrates the now tightly packed front 20 rows through a raucous 50 minute set of sublime entertainment. Don’t forget this is the HMV Temple, you know the pokey one at the top but TW played the crowd like it was Donington. But this time it’s Donington Comedy Night – the one on the top floor of the village pub that few know about. But there are no heckles from the crowd as TW deliver punch line after punch line taking the audience with them every step of the way.

They have this quirky set-up where CG is lead vocalist and also synth-programmer-come-keyboard-player and that’s probably how he honed his between song craft, as he needs to fill in while the programme lines up the next loop or weird intro. But hey, we are all the better for it!

Killer songs tonight included: Ancient Snakes,  Captain Caveman, A Rose for the Crows, Read & Write, Somebody to Love and Lets Die.

Turbowolf are now taking a break to write their new album but in the meantime you can enjoy, TurboWolf and Covers EP Vol 1.

Read Jack Arkell’s 8 out of 10 review of the Covers EP Vol 1 right here.