Sleep Is For The Week @Camden Roundhouse, London 13/05/2017
Lost Evenings, night two – could it top the blood pumping, exhilarating opening night?
Opening on the main stage were the incredibly talented Anglo / Scottish duo Deux Furieuses, who brought their infectious alternative / punk sound to a Camden crowd thirsty for new music. The drum led duo, brought their wonderfully weird, chant style to The Roundhouse with a selection of songs from their 2016 debut album Tracks of Wire.
With each act handpicked by Frank, it was always going to be difficult to stand out, but Deux Furieuses truly brought something different to the stage, so much so, that they earned a special mention from the main man half way through his set. A piece of advice – if these guys are playing anywhere near you, go and see them. They’re fresh, they’re different and they combine upbeat tempos, lo-fi energy and storytelling lyrics in a way other bands can only dream of.
Next up on the main stage was Seth Lakeman, the Devon born multi-instrumentalist and commanding folk singer. With eight albums under his belt, including three top twenty releases, Lakeman was an unusual choice as a support act, but that in itself is a huge testament to the respect Frank Turner has earned from his peers.
By the time Frank entered the stage, the crowd were giddy, and they were full of expectation and excitement. This was the night of Sleep Is For The Week, a night that no one thought they’d ever see again, especially Frank Turner himself.
Entering the stage by himself, Frank picked up his guitar and launched into The Real Damage, before The Sleeping Souls strolled onto the stage, picked up their instruments and effortlessly joined into the song.
Next up was Vital Signs, and the crowd were giving Frank all the energy he needed to feed off and truly captivate the beautiful music venue, with his self-style folk punk. This energy swirled its way into This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The One Of Me and Romantic Fatigue, with the Sleeping Souls providing the gusto and craftsmanship to steer the ship from the rear.
Four tracks in and the atmosphere took an unusual turn, with many member of the crowd seeming either uninterested in the songs on show, or simply unaware of them. This lulled atmosphere lasted throughout Once We Were Anarchists, Back In The Day, My Kingdom For A Horse, Casanova Lament and A Decent Cup Of Tea, although there was a brief period of respite during the incredible Worse Things Happen At Sea.
Throughout these tracks, Frank remained as professional and as enthusiastic as ever, delivering an outstanding version of Nashville Tennessee, which was further topped by the iconic Ladies Of London Town. Despite his stellar showing, the crowd never quite recovered and the usual boisterous buzz of a Frank Turner show never fully materialised.
As Frank returned with The Sleeping Souls for the encore, things took a turn for the better, with Thatcher Fucked The Kids and The Ballad Of Me and My Friends proving to be two of the best songs of the weekend. The sold out Roundhouse crowd screamed out every word, they lapped up everything Frank said and the usual dynamic vigour of a Frank Turner showed arrived.
Sadly, this dynamism arrived a little too late. The piercing excitement after the opening night’s show was gone. Instead, people simply headed for the exits.
Criticising Frank’s performance is problematic. He was very, very good, and he did as advertised – he played Sleep Is For The Week in full, with a few Campfire Punk Rock tunes thrown in for good measure. Sleep Is For The Week is arguably Frank Turner’s least known album, with Campfire Punkrock only really known to very passionate fans, and in a venue the size of The Roundhouse, it was difficult to shake the audience with these tracks.
All in all, fans were treated to an extremely professional performance of tracks they may never hear Frank play again, and that in itself is truly special. Fans will be praying for the return of Lost Evenings next year, and judging by the success of 2017, they may not be disappointed.