For those that are not aware of Frank Turner and his work (He opened the 2012 Olympics people! Jeez!) Frank Is an English folk-punk songwriter, was once the frontman of the equally excellent bands Million Dead and Mongol Horde and is utterly fantastic. I have seen Frank numerous times over the last 5 years or so, including his incredible performance at The Royal Albert Hall which remains one of my favourite live music gigs ever. Each time he never fails to impress me even more than the previous time I saw him play, this occasion is no exception, but I get ahead of myself..
First up we have Portland, Oregon’s very own Esme Patterson. I will freely admit that before this evening I wasn’t aware of Esme’s work, it is good, Very good. Alt-rock leanings hinged around some superb songwriting and a passionate performance, Esme’s back catalogue is definitely being check out by me post-gig.
Next up are Felix Hagan & The Family bringing some rock ‘n’ roll theatricality to tonight’s proceedings, very infectious and likeable, they are very reminiscent of a band I used to follow In the early 00’s called Do Me Bad Things, this is a very good thing and not a criticism as I liked that band a lot. The band do a great job of warming up the crowd for Mr Turner despite a fire alarm going off and cutting their set time.
Frank Turner and his band, The Sleeping Souls, are eagerly welcomed to the stage going into ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’ from the album ‘Love, Ire & Song’ and the crowd are in the palm of Frank’s hand from the off, taking us into a storming ‘The Next Storm’ from the latest album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’. The energy in the room is ramped to the rafters. Tonight’s set visits Franks back catalogue, with fan favourites ‘Losing Days’, The Queen Is Dead’, ‘I Still Believe’ with the band joined briefly by Felix Hagan playing the mouth organ. A wonderful performance of ‘Silent Key’ was rendered more wonderful when the band is joined on stage by Esme Patterson, who reprised her part on the song which she recorded for the album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’. Throw in a stripped down solo take on ‘Josephine’ and a gigantic, rousing singalong of ‘The Way I Tend To Be’ and it has been a very good night.
The Great Hall, Cardiff was show 1984 for Frank, A remarkable achievement in the current climate with dwindling music sales and closure of gig venues, Frank weathers the storm and does so with a smile on his face. Roll on show 2000 at Rock City in Nottingham.