Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls @ Metro Radio Arena 9/07/2017

Getting down early to catch Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls as a support act – is it 2010?!

Blink 182 could not have picked a better act to open for them, and although Frank Turner has received a mixed response from their fans, the truth is they probably couldn’t have sold out this tour without the support of the Winchester troubadour.

With a full stage set up, including the iconic FTHC backdrop, Frank wasted no time getting the FTA ( Frank Turner Army) punching the air, as he launched into Get Better.

Usually at a Frank Turner show, every member of the audience is screaming back the words, and those who came purely for Blink 182 last night are likely to go home and look up his music. Well most will, aside from the few that have provided unnecessary abuse online!

Despite only having 40 minutes to impress, Frank more than delivered, even bringing fellow Xtra Mile label mate Will Varley on stage to perform a harmonica solo during Dan’s Song.

With such an arsenal of arena ready anthems at his disposal, a condensed set list was always going to be difficult, but Recovery, The Next Storm and If Ever I Stray all went down a treat with the Geordie audience.

But, to really win over the pop punk crowd, a few big hitters were needed. Step up Photosynthesis – a defiant punk number rooted in sing along appeal.

In Frank’s usual habitats, getting the whole audience to sit down during Photosynthesis is perfectly doable, but in the Metro Radio Arena? Come on, the is Frank a Turner we’re talking about – of course he smashed it out of the park and (literally) brought 11,000 people to their knees!

As time started to run out, Frank give a passionate speech on Safe Gigs For Women, before launching into I Still Believe. With hands clapping and people singing along, it was clear these ‘used car salesmen’ had converted more than a few to the power of rock and roll.

Ripping off his axe to finish in style, it was time for a ferociously mellow punk rock song – Four Simple Words. Freestyle dancing, crowd surfing and screams – just like he was the headline act.

Blink 182 are one of the few acts that could attract Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls as a support, which is a testament to their stature within punk rock. Frank and co. more than delivered their task, and for once will have had time for an early beer as he enjoyed an iconic band on stage.



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Photo credit: India Fleming