Turn, Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, 25th July 2002.
Ok, remember back a few years ago to when Muse released "Showbiz". At the time, it didn't seem like much and pretty much everyone wrote them off as second-rate Radiohead wannabes, me included. At best, it was a decent album that showed they had potential and might be worth watching. Then they sprung "Origin of Symmetry" on an unsuspecting world. Where the change occurred and how this all right enough band had managed such a metamorphosis was astounding.
Here, with Turn, I think we've just found the missing link. Turn give off the same vibes as Muse, but have their feet rooted to the ground in that they haven't dipped into the prog rock pond. Yet. Ollie Cole, while his voice may not be as super-sonic as Matt Bellamy's, is definitely a match for the man in every other department. Over the past two years of solid gigging, he has developed into a great frontman. He manhandles his guitar, while casually alternating between creating small talk with his adoring audience and churning out great songs.
They haven't yet reached the extremes in sonic sound creation that Muse have mastered, but they're getting there. 'Beeswax' still slices through the air with force, while 'Queen of my heart' and 'Too much make-up' provoke mass singalongs from the ever-growing mass of fans. Newer songs, like 'Heart attack' and 'In Position', from last years EP, are loud and abrasive, but with a real control and an ever-present sense of dynamics. Elsewhere, old live favourite 'Beretta' turns into an animal, all jagged teeth and sharp claws, that cuts straight through you and leaves you roaring breathlessly, "Why can't you look after yourself?".
Both A-sides of the new single ('Another year over' and 'Summer song') were aired tonight and show that the band have continued growing in the direction the 'In position' EP pointed. This was probably one of their last live appearances of the year what with them planning to head into the studio to record their second proper full length. A great set and a great live band, they could pull a Muse out of their hat yet. Just wait and see.