I just passed Dan & Lorna from Skinny Lister at the front door, passed Jay from Beans On Toast coming down the stairs from the main hall, it’s a surreal start to the evenings proceedings. I feel very lucky to be attending this gig, not just because the tickets were like gold dust and the venue is awesome but also because I am witnessing a landmark moment in Frank Turner’s career, his 2000th live show. I may have only last seen Frank live about 2 and a bit weeks ago in Cardiff but I am as excited for this show as the time I saw him take the stage at the Royal Albert Hall, it’s a show that carries with it a feeling of gravitas, of greater meaning than just another tour date, for Mr Turner himself, for his live band The Sleeping Souls and for the assembled fans here tonight.
Support for this landmark show is pretty damn strong. Frank picked support bands that he has shared a strong connection with during his time as a touring musician. A long term perennial gig buddy from his early years in Beans On Toast and a band that are no longer a band at all, The Tailors, who Frank convinced to reform for one night only to accompany him on this special show.
The Tailors, a band from Frank’s Nambucca days are first up with a rather familiar looking guitarist. I can’t say I have heard The Tailors before, like many in the crowd this evening but I like what I hear. They deliver a wonderful blend of Alt-Country and Folk that is right up my street and has the crowd onside from the off. Beans On Toast may not be to everyone’s taste but I personally enjoyed his set, a lot of naysay had been passed on public forums about Beans inclusion tonight which I felt to be completely unjust. He was funny, charming and above all honest.
By the time Frank & The Sleeping Souls take the stage the crowd are going nuts. Jumping straight into an opening salvo of I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous, The Next Storm and I Still Believe, the crowd are bouncing. Rock City is at capacity this evening and you can really tell. The crowd swell and sway, shoulder to shoulder, you most certainly couldn’t swing a proverbial cat on the dance floor tonight. The set isn’t too dissimilar to the one he was been playing on the current leg of this tour, a few omissions and changes here and there, it is the energy that the crowd are throwing out tonight that makes this show special, the roar from the pit at times is deafening and the band are feeding off it and firing on all cylinders. An impromptu Ace Of Spades cover is slipped in, Jay from Beans On Toast is on crowd surfing duties tonight for If I Ever Stray. I help him on his way as he sailed overhead to pick up a double whiskey from the bar before surfing away, it is glorious. Photosynthesis see’s Frank encouraging the audience not to partake into a wall of death but a wall of hugs, with which they duly respond. There are a few solo acoustic performances by Frank, wonderful versions of Mittens & I Am Disappeared to dial the adrenaline in the room down a few notches. The evening is rounded off with run through of 4 Simple Words bringing show 2000 to a close, and what a show!
Everyone involved in tonight’s show should feel immensely proud as it was an absolute corker, a fitting way to mark Franks 2000th live show. Here’s to the next 2000.
I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous.
The Next Storm.
I Still Believe.
Try This At Home.
Long Live The Queen .
The Ace Of Spades.
Plain Sailing Weather
The Way I Tend To Be
St Christopher Is Coming Home.
The Ballard Of Me And My Friends.
The Opening Act Of Spring.
If I Ever Stray.
Out Of Breath.
I Am Disappeared (acoustic)
4 Simple Words.