I write this review with my face still tinged red, either from the remains of face paint, or from my vain attempts of removing the red and black face paint from my skin with increasingly abrasive objects. Flashback roughly twenty four hours and I’m strolling through Glasgow feeling slightly self conscious passing the rush hour commuters on the way to see Turisas, which makes the skin ripping I’m suffering now all worthwhile.
Like other bands who don costumes/outfits/face paint etc, there’s a strange “family” feeling when you enter a venue and see everyone dressed up together. For a room full of people dressed like marauding murderous thunder fuckers, the mood couldn’t be more positive. People painted up greeted other painted folk merrily or shouted BATTLE at passing strangers, to gain a response of “metal” at various volumes decreed by how many pints they had consumed.
The Cathouse is a fairly small venue compared to many Turisas play in, but the response from the crowd is equal to that of one of these bigger venues. The excitement died down slightly after the initial entrance when they played a new song but that’s something that annoyingly seems to happen at lots of gigs. As if to remedy a slightly calm crowd, they pulled A Portage Unknown out the bag immediately after and we were off. Hair flying about the place, pits opening, face paint getting smeared down faces like the makeup on a stereotypical crying drunk girl in an overacted American sitcom.
With reviews of the new album being mixed (I loved it but that’s neither here nor there), people were wondering how many songs would appear on the set. Unfazed by naysayers, the new album took up a solid half of the set, Greek Fire in particular sounded every kind of awesome possible, though now has left me clutching my neck like I’ve been in a car crash.
Along with the new songs, there was also a healthy dose of old songs, I could not have been happier to hear As Torches Rise crop up, and the much loved To Holmgard And Beyond was an early highlight. Stand Up and Fight saw the crowd move vertically for a jumping session which was a nice break considering the Cathouse floor was now a slippy mess. Obviously the main response was for Battle Metal and Rasputin where the crowd genuinely lost their minds for a gloriously good time.
The music was delivered fairly flawlessly, sure there’s the slight aesthetic issue of missing seeing an accordion on stage and the Cathouse’s acoustics didn’t handle Nygards speaking voice particularly well, but it all boils down to the music and when all was said and done, they performed one incredible show.
The only disappointment was that they only played thirteen songs or so, as a band with a growing discography this increasingly means that certain fan favourites or rare tracks are slipping out of the setlists. However, by the end of the show the band had sweated off their face paint, perhaps it works as some sort of battle metal egg timer, once the face paint runs off, the set ends. Who knows? Either way, this is a tiny complaint on an otherwise incredible evening.