By Tony Inglis
Stereo, Glasgow, 26 September 2017
I’ve seen arguably better bands fail to sell out the small but significant room in the basement of Glasgow’s Stereo; certainly, acts who are pushing more at the boundaries of what can be done with guitar music than Virginia’s Turnover. But on this sweaty September night, with not an inch of space left, it marks the most recent in only a handful of occasions that I’ve witnessed such a strong emotional response.
Turnover are in the midst of their first shows since the release of their most recent album, Good Nature, which isn’t so much a departure from their usual sound, as it is a polishing of it. They retain the lightly strummed guitars, with sunny melodies juxtaposed against dark, earnest lyrics. But since their sophomore record Peripheral Vision, they have moved towards brighter, poppier tunes that forego the more sing-a-long choruses for something that, musically, resembles the jangly but forlorn Real Estate, than it does pop-punk or emo in the style of American Football.
That is evident tonight. Songs like ‘Hello Euphoria’ and ‘Dizzy on the Comedown’ are met with rousing renditions from the crowd, belting out every single world. It comes as quite a surprise to me that there is such an intensely devoted pocket of Turnover fans in Glasgow.
The band aren’t surprised – they’ve been here a few times before and they recognise the reaction – but frontman Austin Getz, a large and quite imposing figure who stands in contrast to his delicate voice and lush guitar tones, is unable to thank those who have turned out enough. He appears genuinely grateful.
The set list is, unsurprisingly, heavy on tracks from their third album and they are an utter joy to witness. Singles ‘Sunshine Type’ and ‘Super Natural’, as well as stand outs like ‘Pure Devotion’, are so relaxed and elegant that it begs to be heard in the warm, open air. These are met with less participation from the audience, but more of a quiet respect.
The night wasn’t a complete breeze. Usually I like to steer clear of support acts that I dislike in reviews, and stick to mentioning the really great ones – something that becomes usual when you hit the types of gigs I have on the Glasgow circuit in recent months. Spoiled with the likes of Crying, Codist, Lomelda and Ultimate Painting at a variety of venues, my ears weren’t quite ready for two that have ended up warranting a special mention here.
I stumbled in, mercifully, halfway through openers Palladino who launched into a misguided cover of Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’. The following act, Emotional, with their vocalist doing his best Mick Jagger impression, and their wanky guitarist a cross between Marc Bolan and Ariel Pink, touted a brand of psychedelic rock that was clearly pining to be Tame Impala, but without any of the style, substance or gravitas, and came off as more like Temples or The Lemon Twigs, or a tediously boring mix of both. It’s understandable that bands might want to take their pals on tour, but there must be acts that better serve a band of Turnover’s now mid-sized stature, who also trade in a similar vibe?
In any case, Turnover were excellent, and once they were on, the dullness of the support faded. The committed crowd raise the lovely, but generally mid-tempo, songs to a higher level.
The night ends with the thrilling one-two punch of ‘Cutting My Fingers Off’ and ‘Humming’ – both from Peripheral Vision. Huge choruses and memorable lines swell loudly across the room, akin to when Pinegrove played tracks like ‘Aphasia’ and ‘New Friends’ here at the start of 2017. Turnover can leave Glasgow assured that their unlikely Scottish disciples have been left happy.
Featured photo credit: Aaron Siow