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Turbonegro @ The Hi-FI

The Turbojugend of Australia have waited patiently since 2003 to see the Kings of Death Punk. Unfortunately the past few years have seen the Norwegians part ways with their troubled singer Hank Von Helvete. Reaching out to the international Turbojugend they were able to find a replacement in ex-Dukes of Nothing frontman Tony Sylvester, and a new album entitled Sexual Harassment was released. Presenting themselves with a new vocalist who’s style is vastly different to the iconic Von Helvete is a big gamble, but given The Hi-Fi was bulging at the seams it is one that has paid off.

 

It’s always a joy when the support act isn’t one that is simply endured and forgotten, and as Turbonegro specifically sought Bayswater boys Bugdust out to open for them there were high expectations. Expectations which were met, hit with a ’79 Charger and left bleeding in the moonlight. If Tony Iommi gave Lemmy and Johnny Ramone a blues guitar lesson, and they all got shitfaced later I am nearly certain Bugdust would happen. Bluesy and heavy, they are what rock bands used to be about before eyeliner and fringes took over. Speedqueen and Mexican Death Squad were stand out songs and are definitely worthy of your time.

 

As this was likely the first time everyone had seen Turbonegro perform with their new signer, it made sense for them to open with a new track. The new song Hello Darkness proved that while the voice of Turbobegro has changed, the sleaze hasn’t gone anywhere. Classics All My Friends Are Dead, Wasted Again, Fuck The World and Get It On all sounded like they could have been originally written with Sylvester’s lower, more scratchy voice in mind.

 

Having said that, the first nine tracks only featured one pre-Sylvester song. Typically bands with such hardcore fan-bases wouldn’t receive such a play particularly well, but the Norwegians incorporating one Brit are excellent entertainers. And as excellent entertainers tend to do, they save the best until last.

 

From the tenth track onwards Turbonegro dished out nothing but old school, and particularly surprising was the inclusion of two encores. The latter concluded the show with Are You Ready (For Some Darkness), I Got Erection, a cover of Pere Ubu’s Final Solution and Tony Sylvester half naked in British Royal robes, to round out the setlist at 21 songs. 21 songs which show beyond doubt that Happy Tom and Euro Boy have kept the credibility in a band whose most famous song is about necrophilia-inspired arousal.

BY OSCAR SCHIESSER

 

LOVED: The tiger face tattoo adorning Tony Sylvester’s ample stomach.
HATED: The half naked, hairy backed guy who fell on me.
DRANK: Beer of some sort.