“The Fleece is a better venue but I felt this gig would be more fun.”
Jeffery Johns, affectionately known as Big Jeff, is in attendance tonight at the Marble Factory, having turned down the chance to see Russian Circles down the road at one of Bristol’s more established venues. Something of a legend in the local music scene, the general consensus is that if he’s at the same gig as you then it’s going to be a good one. Let’s find out, shall we?
A little off the beaten track and somewhat overshadowed by the drug-fuelled club nights held in sister room Motion, the Marble Factory has only been a venue for a number of months but it’s building a good reputation, with names like Uriah Heep, Therapy? and Delain playing there over the coming year. It benefits from great acoustics that opening act Hyena (8) take full advantage of; a four piece with great energy and a wicked grunge sound, the applause for them increases after every song, with Mental Home and Forget My Name being particular highlights. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a song called Dog Breath. Southampton’s Dolomite Minor (8) take things up a notch; for a band who only have two members they sound huge, again taking grunge elements in but with Sabbath-esque riffs and a tempo that causes many head in the room to bang in perfect time with one another. They let the music do the talking, Talk Like an Aztec doing very well in winning over the growing throng of punters and it’s clear they have a big future ahead of them.
But tonight is all about the locals in Turbowolf (10), who put on the very definition of a homecoming gig. The band have been milling around the venue all evening and chatting to everyone, but now it’s time for them to shine. And shine they do. The very instant that Invisible Hand opens the set the place erupts and the momentum doesn’t stop at any point for the next 70 minutes. Bodies are flying, the temperature reaches fever pitch and every single song is greeted with a cheer that gives the impressions that it’s the crowd’s favourite. From a stunning rendition of Solid Gold through the bedlam of Seven Severed Heads and on to the finale of Let’s Die, the entire spectacle is just one big party that even sees frontman Chris Georgiadis pull a fan on stage to play his synths. Georgiadis, by the way, is an utter star of a performer, spending half the time in the audience and even being crowdsurfed from the stage to the bar at one point before he dutifully leaps back onto a sea of hands and makes his way back over the barrier. It’s not just the band either as their official photographer gets in on the act as well, filming from the centre of a quite brutal circle pit. There’s no encore, but it doesn’t matter – tonight is a triumph in every single way and, once again, Big Jeff has made the right choice.
The Big Cut
Seven Severed Heads
A Rose for the Crown
Read + Write