turnover @ glasgow stereo
Sometimes, you just have to put yourself out there. It could be anything; braving tequila shots after a dodgy night out, giving your ex another chance, getting a tattoo... You never know what’s around the corner, so always grab life by the horns. This particular night, “putting myself out there” meant taking the train to Glasgow to catch a gig with a stranger.
When tickets to Turnover cropped up on my Facebook newsfeed back in June, I bought a pair without really thinking about it. I’d been listening to “Peripheral Vision” on repeat for about two weeks, and I figured by the time September 26th rolled around I’d be itching to leave the St Andrews bubble anyway. I’d forgotten I was going into third year, a dark vista of deadlines and anguish, so honours students won’t be surprised to hear that I struggled to find a concert buddy. This isn’t Turnover’s first stint in the UK by any means, their first visit was 3 years ago, but it’s safe to say that the majority of their support base remain across the pond. I wasn’t opposed to going it alone, but I didn’t want the extra ticket to go to waste if someone else wanted it.
“Wanted it” is a bit of an understatement; a quick glance at the event page revealed more than a few desperate hopefuls begging to catch the Virginia three-piece at one of their final UK stops. Fast forward to the alleyway housing Stereo, and that one mutual Facebook friend from middle school didn’t feel like much insurance. Luckily for me Emily turned out to be awesome company, and I think most would agree that it’s nicer to see a gig with a fellow fan than to go solo. I’d never checked out the venue before but apparently it doubles up as a vegan café, a nice bonus for those who weren’t interested in the opening acts and only joined us in the basement later on.
Shocked after finding merch I could actually afford, we headed inside an exceptionally sweaty pit of good vibes, Red Stripe cans and smiling faces. That wasn’t what first caught my attention, though, since the basement had been entirely transformed with psychedelic light-show visuals that deserve a special mention. This isn’t your standard backdrop, since it steals your gaze away from the bands and effectively serves to remove another boundary between audience and performer.
It certainly complimented New York’s Palladino, whose cover of “Redbone” washed over us in a sort of haze as the beers kicked in and the audience not-so-subtly waited for Turnover to show up. Their lyrics were unfamiliar but warm: soft, romantic synth in tracks like “Moving to LA” prompting a few Spotify follows while the crowd remained relatively sparse and relaxed.
We’d decided tonight was worth getting front row, so I had a clear view of both the stage and a technician who kept trying to pinch our unfinished drinks. What came next was kind of unexpected, since honestly I hadn’t found time to research the openers and was ready for a few generic songs ending in the classic “thanks for having us”. Straight out of the 70s wander Emotional, a collective of musicians from San Francisco with a distinct stage presence. Leading in with “Trashcan” and “Japan” the visuals took on a whole new significance, blending seamlessly together with the sound and just generally making people laugh at how surreal it all was in central Glasgow. I could feel some of us sobering at “She Dropped out of College”, having definitely skipped classes for gigs before, but all was quickly forgotten.
By this point the crowd had thickened up and we were stuck next to the speakers, but the girl behind us drowned it out anyway as Austin Getz finally walked onstage. It was obvious that the room was generally more familiar with the “Peripheral Vision” record than August’s “Good Nature”, myself included, but they flitted between the two so often that the atmosphere never lulled. A variety of newer tracks such as “Super Natural”, “Sunshine Type” and “Nightlight Girl” couldn’t be more different from their heavier roots but felt honest and relatable.
To their credit, Turnover played a good chunk of the standout “Peripheral Vision”, despite understandably focusing on their new album. Presumably the distance they had to travel to get here was a reminder to play old favourites, since so few European fans will have had the chance to see them since 2014. “Cutting my Fingers Off” was the highlight, closely followed by “Dizzy on the Comedown” and “Hello Euphoria”. The classic Scottish encore chant fell on deaf ears, but at that late stage in the tour we couldn’t really blame them.
All in all, I don’t recommend making the pilgrimage to Stereo expecting crowds like the O2 ABC or SSE Hydro. If, however, you have an open mind, a cheaper budget and can appreciate a more intimate vibe then I can’t recommend it enough.