On a freezing cold November night, around 1000 Geordie folk/punk fans queued outside the Academy, eagerly anticipating this sold-out show. And they were not disappointed.
Punk’s well-spoken gentleman had a capacity crowd at his complete command throughout a wholehearted performance, which saw those present dance and sing in unison throughout a triumphant set.
After a spectacular summer which saw him play at the Olympics’ opening ceremony and a sold-out Wembly Arena, Turner is now back where he feels most comfortable, playing intimate venues for his core fans. His enthusiasm for playing venues he could sell 10 times over is a true testament to the fans that he holds so dearly to his heart – claiming he does not want to alienate them by playing larger, less intimate venues.
Both Turner and an energetic Newcastle crowd we on song from the opening two tracks, If Ever I Stray and The Road. But it wasn’t until the controversial Glory Hallelujah was released that the Academy revealed why it truly is one of Britain’s finest music venues.
In the ultimate preacher-like fashion Turner sang to his disciples, “Clap your hands together, because there no Gad” as a sea of onlookers clapped in harmony, completely mesmerized by the posh punk before them.
Between songs Turner charmed the crowd with tales of life on the road and had them in laughter, stating ‘Gene Simmons takes a polaroid of every women he sleeps with – he has 4600 polaroids. What a c**t!’, before breaking into Wherefore Art Thou, Gene Simmons?.
As his set came to a close Turner had a jubilant crowd bouncing and singing at the tops of their lungs with the anthemic I Still Believe – which saw every member of the audience scream out ‘And who’d have thought/Something as simple/As rock and roll would save us all?’.
Following this emphatic performance the audience was given a spectacular encore with Turner stating he would play more songs as long as everyone sang along. He was not let down.
From the first word of Eulogy, to the last of a very drawn out yet gripping rendition of Photosynthesis, the Geordie crowd sang their hearts out. It is easy to forget that Peggy Sang The Blues was thrown in as well – due to the incredible reaction from the crowd to Photosynthesis which saw Turner throw himself into the crowd for a surf, before hopping back onstage to scream out ‘I won’t sit down/I won’t shut up/ But most of all I just won’t grow up!’.
Easily one of the finest performances the Academy has or will see this year. Providing he can live up to the high standards set here, the rest of Turner’s tour will be a real treat for those lucky to get their hands on a ticket.