Turbonegro - Manchester Academy 3 - 9.5.03

Their name means "A large well-equipped, armed black male, in a fast car, out for vengeance" and they look camper than the combined images of The Village People, Right Said Fred and the CBBC Canteen. It's pretty much safe to say that Turbonegro are never going to be household names in middle America but seemingly the rest of the world is catching on to the band following their comeback album "Scandinavian Leather" after a 6 year hiatus.

"People say were a joke band. Well Manchester I hope your laughing" announces Turbonegro's vocalist Hank von Helvete  before launching into the 80s retro rock fest "Wipe It Till It Bleeds" which they segue into Gary Glitters "Hello, It's Good To Be Back". "I heard you people in Manchester take ectasy...what's wrong with you haven't you dropped enough pills yet" and so on remains the ecstasy references till the end of the show and it would all be so tiresome and hammed up if it wasn't for the fact that the band have some blinding rock tunes to unleash at their disposable. The problem with the rock scene is that it's too far up it's own arse and when anyone such as Turbonegro, The Darkness or the Murderdolls come along they're immediately label joke bands rather than taken in the classic mold of theatrical rock. It seems ultimately the joke is on the cynics because the audience tonight can't get enough of "Gimme Some", "Turbonegro Must Be Destroyed" or "F**k The World".

Unlike other rock bands who's image often overshadows the music (Hello Mortiis, The Berzerker), Turbonegro are a band who's have everything down to perfection. Even the names Pål Pot Pamparius, Hank von Helvete, Rune Rebellion, Euroboy, Happy-Tom and exception to the rule Chris Summers suggest they're from a higher plateau and while they're doing everything against the grain they still hit the mark everytime. Some bands are great in theory and some bands fall together seemingly by accident - Turbonegro are a truly beautiful accident!!!

Alex McCann

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