Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Song Lives On, Part 5 - Turn, 'Beretta'

Turn, 'Beretta'

Info: One of Ireland's better known bands at the turn (yes) of the century, posters for Turn gigs seemed to be plastered everywhere, all of the time, and if you were in college at the time, and were interested in music, chances were you'd seen them live at least once. The band was made up of front man Ollie Cole and Ian Melady (drums), both from Co. Meath, who teamed up in Dublin with bass-player Gavin Fox (who would go on to join the excellent Edinburgh outfit, Idlewild in 2003). Their debut album, Antisocial (2001), was littered with crowd favourites, especially the first two songs, 'Too Much Make Up' (below) and the brilliant 'Beretta' (above). For some reason their record label, Infectious, didn't feel there was any value in releasing singles from the album and so the band moved on, self-releasing their 2003 follow-up, Forward, which appeared to signal the rise of the band beyond their loyal fanbase, reaching no.8 in the Irish charts. A few small line-up changes followed and Turn released their third and final self-titled album in 2005. 

My own abiding, and possibly least muddied memory of the gigs I've mentioned so far, was in the dark bowels of what was then called Danger Doyle's in Temple Bar, just off Dame Street in 2000/1, for some reason it was a particularly messy night and the band were in fine form. The rules surrounding drinking pints front of stage were non-existent back then and the floor was awash with spilt beer after only two songs in what was probably one of the less glamorous venues Turn performed at. I got in touch with bass-player Gavin Fox and he very kindly took time out to put together his thoughts on those halcyon days, massive thanks to Gavin for the following piece;

'My memories of the band starting are very dear. I was 17 and even though the boys were a bit older, they weren't in Dublin long so it felt like we were learning the ropes together. Our first rehearsal took place at The Factory in Ringsend. It was a special day and we instantly knew we were on to something. From then on everything happened very quickly. We were signed and published within the year and we became a very tight live band. I honestly can't remember one single bad thing about that first year. We were all very happy.

Nearly all of the shows we played were stand out for me. I was and still am a massive fan of Irish bands like Revelino, Sack, Whipping Boy, Future Kings of Spain, JJ72 etc., and we played and became friends with them all. I learned so much from watching these bands and felt blessed to be a part of that scene. If I had to pick one show I guess it would be the first time we sold out the Temple Bar Music Centre. We came back from dinner before the show and saw the queue outside. I think most bands have that same fond memory.

I remember being on tour supporting Idlewild in the U.K. and we did an afternoon show in the uni bar. Some guy at a table kept talking so Ollie got off stage and asked him outside for a fight. The guy wheeled his wheelchair from under the table and Ollie came back on stage. I still have a wee chuckle about that!

Turn, 'Too Much Make Up'

I loved being in Turn and I'm very proud of everything we did. Every gig we played, we played as if it were our last. Every rehearsal was creative and those lads were like brothers to me and still are. Of course we all felt something big should have happened but it just didn't. That's what happens with bands. Everybody else kept telling us we'd be huge but the chances of that happening are always slim. I can name a list of big bands that shouldn't be as big and a list of small bands that should. If a band can make even a slight impact on just a few people then it was worth while!

I think we did that.

- Gavin Fox, Turn (bassist)

Gavin currently plays for Little Matador, who released their first, self-titled album earlier this year, find out more and have a listen here