Monday, 28 November 2011


Okay, I give in. I wanted to try consistency with this blogging thing, but it's just not happening. Attempt  number #183726:

Frankly (maha), the problem is that He is just so aknfakdd on tour that I couldn't possibly put to words how amazing the show was. I've not recovered yet, and it's been 5 days of constant FT-playlist repeating (titled OBSESS, no less). 

Naturally, the anticipation was such that we arrived at the venue two and half hours early in order to queue, gaining the prime first-place position excepting two girls who had shown up for the support act Against Me! instead, and have no interest in Frank Turner. Therefore they don’t really count. Thirty minutes in and there was a minor panic attack as the venue posted an ‘IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT’ on the door; two minutes of stomach-flipping until we read it to find out that Against Me! have cancelled due to illness, being replaced by Franz Nicolay. He’s an amusing bald guy so this was all very good news. The two girls then shortly dispatched and we were sat at the top of the queue with only two more hours to wait. 

Then we're front and centre, on the barrier, squished into the metal but a mere few feet away from Frank himself. (I don't know how far a foot actually is, but just know that you couldn't be any closer unless you were lucky enough to be one of those miserable stage security dudes). The hall was packed; the standing area solidified with human quantity and the hundreds of seats rising vertically to line the walls were filled too. It’s the mark of a good musician to get the energy pulsing into the deepest depths of the room and I wager none do it like Frank.

But this is where the trouble is and the words stop. Because even though I can tell you ('you' being the nameless non-existing readers of this blog) that 
his energy on stage is tangible, a physical thing that seems to exude from his very being, transforming him and eradicating any outsider’s doubt that what you’re really seeing is just an unshaven thirty-something jumping around with four thirty-something friends; when in fact what’s actually there is an unstoppable force of opinion, expectation and pride, it still doesn't really explain just how it felt. 

At the end of a miraculous 22-song setlist, Turner appeals to the crowd to join him in 'Photosynthesis'. "And I mean f****** everyone. Not just the diehard, old school m*****-f*****s down the front, but I want the curious parties, I want the people who had nothing else to do tonight and said to themselves, 'you know what, f*** it man, let's see what this Frank Turner man's got to say for himself'; I want the plus-ones, the people whose friends are really into it but they're not all that bothered; I want the boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives; I want anyone who got in to this show on the guestlist to stop  being so damn hipster for five seconds and get down to the front and sing the f*** along, OK? I want the security guards to sing along; I want the boys, the girls, everyone...’ 

The effect on the audience was bordering on insanity. Because how many other musicians pause in the middle of a song to talk to every single one of their fans and tell them that they actually matter to them? It certainly got everyone singing, a powerful unison comprised of mostly off-key singers who don’t give a damn because it’s the message that matters.  And that's basically what Frank's about. Well, 'basically' means nothing here. You can't simplify this guy, he truly is one of those bust-the-boundaries kind of guys, and there is absolutely no denying that that is exactly why he exists. Thank God (or the equivalent for Frank's atheism) for that.


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