TURNSTYLE @ The 21st Amendment gets 9/10

Turnstyle @ The 21st Amendment
w/ Psychotic Reactions (solo), The Tigers
Saturday, March 27, 2021


One cannot be a connoisseur of Australian music without knowing Turnstyle – plain and simple. Key Note Speaker, Turnstyle’s latest release, comes in light of their induction into the WA Museum Boola Bardip Innovation Gallerya testament to their recognisable style of indie synth rock our city has grown to know and love.

The record was launched on a mild Saturday evening at The 21st Amendment in Leederville, a small bar where ambience abounded. Dim lighting, exposed brick and wood decor, and the ability to bring your Uber Eats inside made it a truly welcoming venue.

The audience sat down with pints and cocktails, settling into the venue’s shadows to enjoy Hannah from Psychotic Reactions kicking things off beautifully. With a crimson guitar in hand, the first song had strong Jeff Buckley vibes; with a blend of particular tunings, pedals and energy that drew one to the think of Jeff’s Sin-é sets back in 1992.

Shifting from sweet and melodic to loud and robust, Hannah’s duality was truly impressive. The sultry reverb on the vocals turned heads in interest, but it also meant you couldn’t always hear the words, which was a bit of a shame as you could feel the lyrics were emotive and powerful. Nevertheless the feeling still filled the room, and if you closed your eyes, you could swear you were strolling through a misty forest at the dead of night.

With a career spanning almost 25 years, The Tigers stand alongside Turnstyle as true legends of the local scene, making them a fitting choice of support act. Armed with the exciting addition of a trumpet, the group launched into a cover of Learning to Fly by Tom Petty, delivering a fresh take on the classic tune. The highlights of The Tigers’ set were in the moments of suspense; the quiet slow jams that built gradually, until the audience were smacked in the face with massive prog-like crescendos full of passion, getting everyone’s hearts pounding.

Turnstyle hit the stage around 10pm and wasted no time launching into their impeccable set. Starting off strong with fan favourite I’m A Bus (so good that someone asked for it after it had already been played), the tune showed the Americana, Pavement-esque influences of their music.

The second track made one think of the iconic 1969 Hot Butter track Popcorn, arguably one of the frontrunners of synthesiser music. It was about this point the floor began to get filled upon frontman Adem Kerimofski’s gentle encouragement, with blatant superfans not sparing a second to flail their limbs and chant along with the catchy hooks.

Other highlights of the polished set included Portamento, Sir History, Cologne and of course, Spray Water on the Stereo. It all went down a treat, with punters really amping up the energy with infectiously grinning faces. The show was capped off by Fast Wash; a more sonically introspective track than much of the rest of the set, but a lovely, subdued end nonetheless. 

While all the bands impressed on the night, one of the real takeaways of this show was how underrated the The 21st Amendment is as a live venue. To see such an iconic local band, supported by two other talented artists, in such a space felt like a privilege to say the least. It will be exciting to see what is in store for the rest of 2021, because if all gigs were this good, you’d be going out seven days a week.


Photo by Dee Kerimofski

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