[Live Report] Turnstile + Forced Order @ The Fighting Cocks + Boston Music Room (London)

turnstile

Since I first saw Turnstile at the Underworld last year I can’t get enough of their live shows. As hyped as the band is, they deserve all the praise they can get for being one of the most positive and energetic live band you can find nowadays in hardcore. Sure, you can hear some early Red Hot Chili Peppers in the mix, but last time I checked Give it away was a good song (thank you Rick Rubin for that bass line) so there is nothing wrong with adding some funk in your punk rock if you know how to play, which they do.

Opening for them, was Forced Order, a band featuring members of Disgrace and Soul Search who plays metallic hardcore. Their set at the Fighting cocks was mostly enjoyed by a few moshers but most seemed to be here only for the headliners. The crowd was more in their favor the following night but there is still a severe lack of emotion in their music. The musicianship on the other hand is quite good, and the band knows how to play an energetic set when they stand on a large enough stage. However, it is difficult to feel involved in a music where you can’t feel any anger or passion. You don’t need to Kickback to be good at this genre but you should demonstrate a minimum of testosterone, and Forced Order is lacking in that department.

What I learned watching Turnstile two nights in a row is that small room do not work in favor of a band that dynamic. On the tiny stage of the Fighting cocks only the singer seemed to enjoy himself handling the mic to random fans. The bass player seemed particularly bored with himself since he could not jump. The crowd was also less frantic in this small room located behind a bar in the borders of London. However, what they lacked in energy, the crowd at The Boston Music Arm had in spade, surging like a united mass of energetic rabbits as the first note hit the speakers. Nonetheless, each night the musician played very well and tried to make the most of their equipment no matter how good they sounded, therefore ensuring that whoever saw them would want to come back for more.

Yet, the big winner of the two shows was the show at the Boston Music Arms. Better PA, better crowd and more space to go nuts. Two even climbed up the monitors to jump in the crowd before a security guard came over to watch over this side of the stage. Nonetheless, even if they could not jump like cats, there were plenty of ways to mess around and have fun. Pulling the most energetic songs from their two EP and their latest LP, Turnstile did not play a bad tune and proved that they already have some classic songs under their belt (Drop, Keepin’ me away, Gravity, Canned heat, Fazed out or Can’t deny it played for the encore). If I could have seen them a third time in a row, I would have, but sadly their show at Koko opening for The Story So Far was sold out. Not worry, they will be back without a doubt as they seemed to have enjoyed playing with squirrels at St James Park and seeing Londoners move around like rabid monkeys. And who would not want to do that all over again?

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