Updated: Oct 20
The last date found the Galway punks in The Golden Lion, Todmorden. Did it end well? Julia Mason reports.
Turnstiles supported by Splint
Golden Lion, Todmorden
Saturday 16 October
It's feast or famine. After so long with no live music there is now inevitable congestion in the gigs calendar. Amongst those vying for attention, Galway's Turnstiles booked five nights in the north of England, with the last date at the iconic Golden Lion in Todmorden. With a number of livestream performances under their belt during lockdown, it was wonderful to finally see this band live.
But let’s start at the beginning, and the support band Splint. There is a lot of local interest in this 4-piece.
The lead singer is Jake Bogacki one of the original members of Working Men’s Club. Stepping into the spotlight as the frontman for a band cannot be easy. Splint comprise 3 guitarists and a drummer, and the music is beats driven but led by guitars. Moody and atmospheric but with a touch of edginess it was very cool to see this young band in their own backyard.
Even though it’s very early days for Splint they supported The Lounge Society in Manchester just a few days earlier. With The Lounge Society being another band from the Calder Valley currently making waves outside their own region that was a great slot for Splint to play.
And so onto the main event. This was the final gig of Turnstiles' five date tour. We are treated to all four tracks from the debut EP which was released back in January on Blowtorch Records: Omniscient Delusion, Something To Die For, In A State and Just Bleed. To hear these performed live was exhilarating.
Full of energy with the combination of the powerhouse drumming of Luke Mulliez, the thumping bass of Jake Tiernan and guitars of Colm Sweeney and Cillian Ryan, it was a wall of sound. It does strike me how many young bands are able to express themselves lyrically with such eloquence. We continue to live in troubled times and the articulation of this into emotive songs is powerful.
Lead singer Callum Mitchell is a calm presence onstage but the music speaks for itself. The set included a number of new songs such as Die Happy and Dig It Out which retain the Turnstiles raw edge. I.D.C. is a highlight. Released as a single in 2020 it is fast and furious.This is pure punk, and it rattles along at speed.
It must feel pretty emotional to play these songs to a live audience in proper gig conditions at last. Sitting down is simply not the way to experience this band. This tour will have provided invaluable experience. With Ireland finally getting close to lifting restrictions on live music, Turnstiles have a number of gigs booked, which fingers-crossed will go ahead.
All I can say is “Go. See.”
Turnstiles next live dates are:
Aras Na Gael in Galway October 21
KFest on October 23
Dublin's Workman's Club on October 24
All details here