Zigfrid von Underbelly, London - 19 February 2010

"Sartorially distinctive anarchic electro rock"

Uturns There was something quite satisfying about seeing the subversive Uturns circus rack up in this stylishly hip and cool Hoxton Square venue. One of no less than seven acts on tonight's bill, no two of which seemed to be in the same genre. The two that preceded them were indie rockers followed by a smooth r'n'b soul band, and with the audience seemingly a mixture of regulars and followers of the bands, both got a very enthusiastic response. I couldn't quite fathom then how Uturns would go down after that. As the colourful and alternative looking band members set about converting the stage to their own space, complete with wrap-around backing screen upon which their jarring cut-up visuals could be projected, one of the 'generic' folk behind me turned to his date saying with an air of uncertainty in his voice "I think these guys could be loud". They weren't a smooth soul act that's for sure.

UturnsProblems with the projections and one of the band's monitors not working meant things got off to a hampered start instead of just walking up, introducing themselves and getting on with things. A hardcore of Uturns fans had commandeered the space directly at the foot of the stage in what was by now, 10pm on a Friday night in the centre of hipsville, pretty rammed. This helped convert at least part of the otherwise somewhat anodyne crowd into an altogether more entertainingly sartorially distinctive bunch. With shades of influences ranging The Sex Pistols through to The Shamen peeking through from time to time, it didn't take too long for the act to find their funky alternative groove.

This being the second time seeing the London based outfit, the novelty of the new had been replaced with recognition of a two or three numbers. Stand By and Lost worked best for me. Two new songs, Pressure and Right In It, appeared with the latter proving stronger than the former. With a couple of fashion accessory changes during the set, Italian-born front man Francesco (Fran) Piro remains the focus of attention. He is well supported by an eclectic troupe each bringing something different to the mix both in terms of instrumentation and character. For those in the crowd who were actually interested in hearing Uturns if this was their first sampling then it was not Uturns at full throttle or flow and a lesser experience for it. But if the uncommon proposition of anarchic electro rock does appeal then one off-night shouldn't put you off. 6/10

Rob Dyer