REVIEW gig Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

The Stirring Proclamations Of Frank Turner

And we're definitely going to hell, but we'll have all the best stories to tell
sdsfFrank Turner & The Sleeping Souls - Edinburgh Corn Exchange - Sat 8th Feb 2014

The former front-man for post hardcore band Million Dead has been enthralling audiences across the UK since going solo in 2005. His semi-acoustic folk/punk tunes have earned him a fanatical following and a rags to semi- riches level of mainstream success - an incredible achievement to have made without the advantage of a hit single to piggy-back in on - and only the most vindictive and envious of people would deny him that. With his songs now firmly entrenched in the ‘Englishness’ of his poetic observations he is a wordsmith of the highest order accentuating this modern culture of ours with astonishing clarity. The thundering roar that snapped Edinburgh Corn Exchange into life as Frank Turner and his band The Sleeping Souls walked on stage is as significant of his popularity these days as the fact this gig has sold out is! He smiles, raises his arms and launches the evening with the stomping catchiness of Photosynthesis an energetic anthem about how society expects us to embrace the confines of adulthood and act our age. He incites the crowd to join in on it’s chant-along chorus…and they sing, with endearing petulance…’
I wont sit down, and I wont shut up, and most of all I will not grow
up!’ The reflective angst of ‘Plain Sailing Weather is followed by the powerful homage to his late grandmother ’Peggy Sang The Blues’ and, on the melancholic ‘Losing Days’ when he sings ‘and
all these small ideas are
suddenly commitments as greatness slips on by’ you are reminded once again of the stunning poetics he chronicles his feelings with. The incredible high spirited energy of a Frank Turner performance is well documented but you really have to be among it to comprehend it. The adrenalized enthusiasm he delivers every song with has a compelling dynamic and there’s a definite camaraderie between him and the audience. Tonight is no different, he cajoles and he interjects with incredible charisma and continues to serenade them with the songs they have adopted as their very own including ‘Reasons Not To Be An Idiot‘ ‘Wessex Boy’, ‘If Ever I Stray’ and ‘The Road’ The stirring proclamations of ‘Eulogy’ just beg to be collectively roared and it was never going to be anything other than that - this most rowdiest of choirs did it justice and volleyed it skywards, three thousand voices as one ,,,’
Not everyone grows up to be an astronaut, not everyone was born to be a king, not everyone can be Freddie Mercury, but everyone can raise a glass and sing. Well I haven’t always been a perfect person, and I haven’t done what mum and dad had dreamed, but on the day I die, I’ll say at least I fucking tried, that’s the only eulogy I need’. From celebratory to deep reflection as the opening chords of the devastatingly poignant ‘Long Live The Queen’ written about his friend Lexi who died from breast cancer - it’s a fast paced celebration of her life as much as it is a memorial of sadness which is played tonight with added rock song edginess slowing down for reflection just briefly as he sings ‘
we live to dance another day, its just now we have to dance for one more of us’, so stop looking so damn
depressed, sing with all our hearts. long live the queen’. The mesmerising ‘Broken Piano’ is the last song, it’s haunting finale a solitary pounding drum beat remains until everything else has been silenced….They return to the stage for a 3 song encore of ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Friends’, ‘I Still Believe’, and ‘Four Simple Words’ then they’re gone. Frank Turner gets his attitude and cynicism from punk rock and his poetic conscience from the soul of folk music. His fans are sincere in their admiration committing every song to memory just to howl each one back at him word for actual word. It’s a genuine regard for someone who gives just as much of himself in return. The energy liberated by his annihilation of complacency is bestowed to them. He deserves his glories!
FRANK TURNER HOMEPAGE Photographs: Susan Lockett Thanks to Lou at Partisan PR