A couple of years back some big music industry cheese declared rock music dead. This year they declared it undead. Now, although the first statement was utterly ludicrous, I must admit that 2014 has been the year of the Riff! There’s been an influx of great rock bands across the UK and it seems that the mainstream are taking more notice as songs with riffs are getting into the charts and onto daytime radio. Tonight we’re at the ever lovely Deaf Institute to see a three band bill put together by Download, the UK’s best rock festival.

Tonight is night two of a weeklong tour and we’re down nice and early to catch Midlands duo God Damn. I’ve been following Thom and Ash’s musical journey for quite some time now, from back when I was living in the Midlands myself and they were making snotty indie rock hits! Here they are in 2014, a different band making sludgy, grungy rock songs with huge riffs and even bigger hooks. Thom is an excellent songwriter with a strong voice that sounds more ferocious than ever tonight. Ash on the other hand is a force to reckoned with as he plays as if his life depends on it, bashing the living shit out of his kit. These two have the presence, the tunes and ultimately the chemistry to be the next big thing in British rock next year.

I must admit I only managed to catch a small amount of main support Empress AD but from what I did see was a fine display of epic prog infused rock, with chunky riffs and powerful vocals. They’ve been wowing crowds across the UK a lot this year with some sweet support slots under their belts, which is clear with the amount of people here tonight singing along and head banging with passion. I hope I’ll be able to catch more of their decadent sounds soon!

Tonight’s headliners are Bristol based Turbowolf, a band that have been working hard for years and years and it seems that there time is finally now. Haven’t just completed a successful run of dates supporting Royal Blood last month, the quartet are worthy headliners for tonight’s stella bill as they road test tracks from their upcoming second LP.  Their set is greeted by an excitable crowd with lots of head banging, mosh pitting and crowd surfing! Frontman Chris successfully riles up the crowd with his confident and often amusing on-stage patter, strutting around the stage with a strong Zappa-esque look. The rest of the band look the part too, as my friend next to me says ‘they look like a proper rock and roll band don’t they?’. And rock and roll is what they play! Tonight is all about big fuck off riffage with some sweet fuzzy organ solos and an arsenal of groove drenched hits. They play a good mix of new and old tunes, the new tunes sounding heavier and larger. The two tracks they’ve released so far are the highlights for me, ‘Solid Gold’ has a proper stinking riff that is impossible to not strut yourself too and ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ is a proper catchy slice of groovy pop with an enormous chorus. Tonight Turbowolf proved they are ready to play with the big boys and with their earlier hits still hitting hard and new material sounding gigantic, 2015 is surely there’s for the taking.

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Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.