Frank Turner @ Camden Roundhouse – Lost Evenings 2 11th May 2018
Friday night marked the opening night of Lost Evenings 2. The night proved a celebration for many, but a sad day for others, including the main man himself, following the news of Scott Hutchinson’s passing.
Just 12 months ago, Scott was standing on stage at Lost Evenings, supporting Frank with a stunning Sensible Sundays’ solo set. Throughout years in the industry, Scott and Frank had built up a strong friendship, and his passing will have left its mark.
Despite getting such terrible news, Frank took to the stage on Friday with his usual gusto, armed with an acoustic guitar and the backing of the Sleeping Souls, before launching into 1933 with all the heart and professionalism that you’d expect from the Winchester boy.
That professionalism is something that often goes under valued with Frank; however Friday’s show wasn’t the first time he’s gone on stage after such terrible news, and delivered a show stopping performance. In 2015, Frank lost one of his best friends in the Paris attacks, yet still went out and delivered a first class performance the next night in Newcastle; giving his fans what they paid for, and pressing pause on life for a couple of hours. The level of professionalism required to do this is incredible; unique in an industry famed for temperamental signers, and Frank deserves huge praise and respect for the performance given.
Night one of Lost Evenings 2 was billed as a greatest hits night, and featured a strong mix of greatest hits, along with a touching cover of Frightened Rabbit’s The Modern Leper, and a perhaps surprising inclusion of nine tracks from Be More Kind.
The inclusion of so many new tracks received a mix response from the audience. While the audience enjoyed them, many wanted hear more of his ‘greatest hits’, with fan favourites Peggy Sang The Blues, Long Live The Queen, I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous, The Ballad Of Me And My Friends and Wessex Boy all missing from the set list.
While these favourites may have been excluded, plenty of big hitters were featured, including The Road, Recovery, The Way I Tend To Be, Glory Hallelujah and Photosynthesis. These classics thrilled the Roundhouse audience, who sang back every word of every song, showing that the Frank Turner Army remains as tuned in as ever.
Following the usual sit down / jump up rendition of Photosynthesis, Frank and the Sleeping Souls left the stage, returning a few minutes later with Don’t Worry, I Still Believe and his tradition hell raising curtain closer Four Simple Words. Except, this time, he wasn’t done after his punk infused, crowd surfing favourite.
As the Sleeping Souls left the stage, Frank was reunited with his acoustic guitar for Polaroid Picture; a song that perfectly summed up the emotion of the night, and no doubt was a tribute to his fallen friend. The song hit a chord with the audience who sang back every word, with particular emphasis on the key message of the song – ‘Hold close to the ones that you love / Because we won’t all be here this time next year’ – a perfect way to end a truly professional set from one of rock’s last great troubadours.
On a more serious note, we’ve seen too many musicians and music fans depart us too early, so if you are feeling down, please take the time to talk to someone. This may be Mental Health Awareness Week, but this is a perennial issue that needs to be addressed with more regularity than just one week a year, but until that becomes a reality, let’s do our best to talk to and support those in need.