@Northumbria University, December 7 2016
Frank Turner has a knack of picking hugely talented support acts for his shows – just look at his past openers Skinny Lister, Beans On Toast and Will Varley. They’re all headlining shows all over the country, and it won’t be long until last night’s opener Esme Patterson is doing the same.
Frank’s hugely talented label mate got the show started in style with her eclectic folk rock style and beautiful, soft vocals, as she played tracks from last month’s brilliant new album We Were Wild, and a number of favourites from her 2015 debut, before the main man bounced onto stage with typical gusto, and burst into I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous.
In a two hour long set, Frank delivered everything the audience craved on a cold December night – the songs they know and love.
Opening in style, he raced through full band, punk tracks I Still Believe, The Next Storm and Long Live The Queen, instantly setting the audience alight as they bounced and sang along.
As the Sleeping Souls took their mid-set break, the audience had some one on one time with Frank and his acoustic guitar as he strummed his way through intimate versions of Song For Josh, Hits and Mrs and The Ballad Of Me And My Friends, with Song For Josh, a track written following the death of his close friend, hitting home hard with many in the audience.
Following these three solo tracks, the Souls were back for the big ones – The Road, If Ever I Stray and his most iconic, sing along number, Photosynthesis as he brought thee show to a close with a wall of hugs.
But it wasn’t long until he was back, armed with his acoustic guitar for a rousing rendition of Mittens – belting out the lyrics and filling the packed out venue with cries of ‘We used to fit like mittens, but never like gloves!’
As the Souls joined him again, Frank roared ‘Blacking in and out in a strange flat in East London…’ before the Souls exploded into life with the standout track from 2013’s Tape Deck Heart – Recovery. Filled with racing sounds, this was one to get the blood boiling before he strapped up his electric axe and sped into Get Better.
Frank Turner has been closing shows with Four Simple Words for around four years now and this gig was no exception. With a mix of Million Dead-style hard-core and good old folk rock on show, this track give the audience excuse for one last pogo and Frank the opportunity the sail through the audience for a much loved crowd surf.
There are few better live acts on the road than Frank Turner, and no one will have left disappointed after last night’s lively, sweaty show!