Altin Gün // Live Review // The Bristol Beacon // Bristol

Altin Gün

 

For those familiar with Altin Gün’s sound, it probably goes without saying that experiencing them in the flesh is something altogether different from the norm. Not ones to be pigeonholed, their sound drifts between an Anatolian rock and Turkish folk, with overtones of Western psychedelia and European synth pop weaved into the mix. It’s a real melting pot of influences that come together to create a distinctive, cohesive whole, and one which translates brilliantly to a live setting. Tonight’s show was originally due to take place at a sold-out Thekla back in February, but the intervention of the pandemic led to a rescheduling which tonight places us in the heart of Bristol Beacon’s cavernous foyer, with its sprawling staircases providing the chance to get a real 360 view of the proceedings. There’s no support band tonight, in fact, the band spend the time before the gig freely mingling with the crowd in the smoking area whilst a DJ gets things moving on the floor, only disappearing backstage a minute before they’re due to arrive on it. When they do, the room starts bouncing.

The rolling percussion and grooving bass that acts as a hallmark for so many Altin Gün tracks resonates well in this oddly shaped setting. Vay Dünya’s fleet-of-foot pattering intro is greeted by huge cheers before the crowd start throwing shapes to the twang of Erdinç Ecevit Yıldız’s baglama as it dances gracefully over the top. Looking around I notice the expat contingent in the room passionately relaying every word, but you don’t need to know your Turkish to move to Altin Gün – the fuzzy driven psych-soaked riffs of Leyla, plus the plinking synths and four-on-the-floor rhythm of Süpürgesi Yoncadan, from 2019’s Gece, have enough groove to animate the staunchest of statues. Someone did once explain to me that, loosely put, these songs touch on the subjects of love, death, and war, old folk tales reimagined for contemporary times and projected over a multi-cultured soundtrack. I may not be able to fully appreciate the weight of the words, but I can tell you it’s a bloody good time whenever a band asks the crowd to crouch en masse before dancing their way back to their feet. Altin Gün are an immensely entertaining and engaging act to watch, and well worth giving your evening to.

Erdinç Ecevit Yıldız: vocals, bağlama, keys

Merve Daşdemir: vocals, keys, percussion

Thijs Elzinga: guitar

Jasper Verhulst: bass

Daniel Smienk: drums

Chris Bruining: percussion

 

REVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHY: ROB CARMIER

 

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