Review and photos Svenja Block

The Vans X Crossfire Halloween Massacre at House of Vans in London near Waterloo Bridge (under the arches to be precise) opened its doors back in August 2014 with no others than Hip Hop legends Public Enemy launching this smart music venue and skateboarders and lovers of the arts heaven in style.

The day after Halloween played host to a very special FREE live appearance by the one and only Norwegian Masters of Death Punk Turbonegro on a very mild and promising Saturday night. In 2012 the band tore it up at the Brooklyn base of House of Vans in the US – it is also the last time I saw them play at the Electric Ballroom Camden/London… It was the band’s only UK show in 2014 and the completely sold out event was filled with dressed up dead rock n’ rollers, zombie ripper fiends and plenty of Turbojugend members ready to show their support and party with the band that likes to describe themselves as either the smallest mainstream or biggest underground rock n’ roll band in the world.

Turbonegro have been together for more than 25 years and released several inspiring albums that have received cult like status over time. They have also never been afraid to question and attack political correctness with irony. A few years ago the band faced one of its biggest challenges to date with a major line-up change: Native West Londoner Tony ‘The Duke of Nothing’ Sylvester, ex-president of the Turbojugend Fanclub and former UK press contact for Turbonegro, successfully replaced singer Hank von Helvete, who left in 2010 and subsequently started the next chapter for the Scandinavian combo.

Turbonegro entered the stage shortly after midnight and the crowd was immediately hit with an incredible energy and the perfect wall of sound (for me anyway). Tony Sylvester is a natural entertainer and was not short of telling the usual stories about remembering the 1990’s and reminiscing about current affairs with only the slightest hint of sarcasm. The stage outfits and make-up added a little bit of drama and essential humour to the show as always. Well, I would certainly not want to see those guys play dressed in plain clothes. This is entertainment at its best!

The band played around 14 songs; we heard ‘You give me worms’ which was released as a single from the 2012 critically acclaimed album ‘Sexual Harassment’, the classic and often covered ‘Back to Dungaree High’ and the ultimate turn on and sing-along ‘I got erection’ from the legendary 1996 album ‘Ass Cobra’ which saw the audience erupt into one wild moshpit (Turbonegro has been known to divide the crowd into two groups for ‘I got erection’ for a show in Germany – each group was given instructions to sing a little verse – the result was both awesome and chaotic: both groups ultimately exploded together and created yet another one massive yet beautiful moshpit).

A surprise was the well-crafted Dire Straits cover version of ‘Money for Nothing’. The whole band sounded really tight, Euroboy on guitar had several close encounters from their lead singer as did Happy Tom, who was assisting with the occasional spoken word – or was it the other way round? There wasn’t a song that I didn’t like; ‘Age of Pamparius’, ‘Wasted again’, ’Misfits’, ‘Dude without a face’  ‘Sailorman’ and ‘Blow me like the wind’ sounded just perfect – like everything else they played.

It was all over way to soon…the band left the stage after taking a collective bow with Starships’ ‘We built this city’ blasting through the speakers.

Front row









Turbonegro “I got erection”
Svenja Block Flickr

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