Pulled Apart By Horses

support Turbowolf
author TL date 27/02/12 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

It's Monday, it's late February and my budget for the month has been fully converted into hangovers days ago. I can afford the cloak room at Vega as little as I can afford the pre-show Monster it normally takes to keep me alive and kicking through an evening. Tough times, and judging from the 'crowd' that's gathered in Lille Vega before the bands start tonight, maybe I'm not the only one who's broke - Because by 'crowd' I really mean there's only a handful of people here, and remembering the crazed crowd that greeted Pulled Apart By Horses when they played at last years Roskilde Festival, I'm guessing there are quite a few fans sitting at home cursing their own poverty even more than I am. Still, the show must go on - or more accurately - it must commence, and it does so with the emergence of Turbowolf, who have been charged with warming up the crowds on this tour.

Turbowolf

Turbowolf are a quartet from Bristol, UK, who announce as they come on that the gathered audience are in for some rock'n'roll, and this comes as a surprise to noone, considering the band's look - all torn jeans, long hair, a psychedelic shirt here, a mighty mustache there. They launch into a set of music that sounds like a mix of The Hives and Mando Diao played on fast forward, and I get the feeling singer Andy is quite into The Doors, with the way he moves about the stage shouting like a high-pitched Jim Morrison and squeezing organ sounding notes from a small keyboard. For the first three to five songs, the sound is somewhat messy, which could be because the echo of the almost empty venue is messing with the acoustics, but fortunately more and more people start arriving and many of them quickly take interest in Turbowolf, who are rocking out in exemplary fashion stage, and taking every opportunity to engage the crowd in a friendly and forthcoming manner between songs. The good mood builds with a cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" and come the last song, a mosh finally breaks out up front, with a full pint immediately dropping on the floor and people falling on the ground and crashing into each other. Overall Turbowolf might not have the diversity of sound to have lasted more than a few songs more than they actually played, but then that never did become an issue in the warm up slot, and despite a sort of handicapped beginning, their set definitely ended in solid fashion.

7

Pulled Apart By Horses

After a fairly short changeover, the curtains are drawn for the second time tonight and headliners come on to kick of the party immediately with "I Punched A Lion In The Throat", and a group of faithful fans that have gathered front and centre immediately go apeshit. It's a wonder to behold that half a song into the set, people are falling on the floor, pints are flying through the air, shoes are lying lost in the middle of the mosh and on stage, band members are off their feet, then on their backs, still beating the shit out of their instruments and wailing lyrics like banshees. Things are so crazy wild from the very beginning, that nobody but singer/guitarist Thomas Hudsons seems to notice that some of his pedals are connected wrong, effectively preventing any sound from his guitar from reaching the speakers, and soon he vents his frustration by violently kicking his mic stand into the front row. No harm is done though, and the people in the front only take it as part of the show, and an encouragement to keep up the crazy and suddenly some are topless and others are stage diving.

For all the wild partying going on up front though, the show has a rather different quality to the rear half of the crowd tonight. There's a wide buffer between them and the moshpit, and although the more casual attendees do reward songs with polite applause, it's clear that they're not getting quite the same value for money as the ones that came to move. As the show moves into its mid-section it becomes pretty clear that Pulled Apart By Horses are like Charlie Sheen in the way they have one 'speed' and it's "GO!". Their show is rock'n'roll for better and worse, and for those who came hoping to also get a diverse and engaging listening experience, things likely start feeling monotonous around halfway through the set if not earlier. The band's music simply seems so perfectly built for energetic bouncing and raging, that there isn't really room for any other nuances, so if you're not busily losing your mind up front, the novelty is bound to wear off before the end of the hour long set the band plays. So as the band eventually race their way through both new single "V.E.N.O.M", regular set closer "High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive" and a planned encore capped off with "Back To The Fuck Yeah", I'm left wondering what to grade the whole experience. The people up front must've definitely felt like the show was worh 8 or better, while I would suspect people less inclined to mosh could've felt it like a 7 or worse. In the interest of fairness, I guess I'll position myself squarely in the middle then. The on stage performance visual performance is exactly how you want bands to perform, but the sonic experience isn't quite deep enough to be completely gratifying for a full hour.

All article photos courtesy of Rasmus Ejlersen. See more of his work from the show here

Extra photos courtesy of our friend Peter Troest can be seen here:

Turbowolf + Pulled Apart By Horses

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