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Turn, An Cruiscin Lán, Cork, 5th June 2003

With a new album comes the customary tour and so, with the launch of Turn's second album "Forward", the band hit the road on a short Irish tour. Local band, Drexl, and Berkeley from Donegal proved lively support, but most where there to see the main attraction, who toured with Cork's The Frank and Walters on the Heineken Rollercoaster Tour and were now back in the real capital headlining their own tour.

Turn are one of the best bands on the Irish scene at the moment. They are excellent live and they proved their pulling power when, despite terrible weather, An Cruiscin Lán was nearly full on the night. The venue itself is a small one with great acoustic qualities, but has only a small stage area. Turn made the most of it. For anyone familiar with the band, it was a night for singing along.

Great songs like 'In position', 'Another year over' and 'Heart attack' got the crowd going. When a change of tempo was called for, Ollie rolled out 'Catch on you'. Turn recruited an extra member for the tour. Martin was introduced to us as a temporary fixture, but added vocals, keyboards and acoustic guitar. It gave the gig an extra dimension.

Ollie's incredible voice from such a little man is one of the band's strengths. After losing bassist Gavin Fox, the band recruited Skindive's Alan Lee. Lee is a very talented bassist, but hasn't the same stage presence as his predecessor. Musically, Turn haven't been weakened by the loss of Fox. But that in itself is a problem. I have seen the band several times now, and they always play the same basic set list.

To be fair to the band though, they were only playing to the crowd's demands. One of the highlights, as always, was 'Queen of my Heart" as the crowd got to see the vocal talents of the band's drummer Ian Melady. Throughout the band's gigs, he provides subtle but excellent backing vocals. It is always a crowd pleaser and the man is also one talented drummer.

For a bit of variety, they played their version of The Frames 'Lay me down', but the fact remains that the "new" album, for the most part, was already known very well to most Turn fans. It consisted mainly of previously released songs from their EPs. The finale was new, though. Slowly Ollie and the band replaced themselves with members of the crowd until there was three new band members plus one Drexl singer on stage finishing out "Too much make up on". The gig was a great one, but the band needs some real new material soon.

Niamh O'Mahony.

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