Full of energy is an understatement for the hands-in-the-air, sing-along, indie-pop-punk vibrant show that was Frank Turner as he played the Guildhall in Portsmouth, UK. Famously on a “never ending tour of everywhere” his future touring dates see him in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA and crossing Europe in the next 6 months. But this show was special, being just down the road from where he was born.
Frank opened the show with his usual instructions; “don’t be a dick”, “if you know the words sing along”, and “look out for each other”. All were seemingly accomplished with a superb atmosphere and the exuberant energy he creates, throughout the massive set list of 26 songs; from the archives mixed with those from the new album FTHC.
Katie Lloyd, bassist and vocalist from support act The Lottery Winners, joined Frank and band on stage for a duet of “Little Life” which was well received by the crowd, having absolutely fallen in love with the band earlier in the evening.
Mid-set, the energy was reduced as Frank sang a few songs solo accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, including “The Work” from his latest album. It’s a heartfelt song, which he told us is about his own marriage of four years, about making long term relationships work. Frank then said he’d never wanted to turn the stage into his ‘soap box’, not wanting to impose his opinions on anyone. However, he felt one of his oldest songs, released back in 2006, was relevant again. He’s clearly not a fan of the current government, and “Thatcher Fucked the Kids” was well received by the crowd.
The band and the energy then resumed for a triumphant final segment of the show, full of punk, rotating mosh pits, and the contagious good times of an exceptionally experienced and talented performer. Everyone left smiling.
Support band The Lottery Winners were hugely popular with the crowd, based on the social media posts that followed, proclaiming them the most entertaining and genuinely funny show they’d ever seen, but not detracting from their huge talent and infectiously catchy pop songs. Thom Rylance is a frontman extraordinaire, with loveable self-deprecating humour, asking the crowd to pretend the band were famous. It’s a sure fire way to bring excitement, laughter, and respect from the audience. A wonderful performance and their songs are damn good too. New album Anxiety Replacement Therapy is out on 28th April, with a 21 date tour across the UK in the lead up.
Opening the show were the alt-folk acoustic duo Wilswood Buoys. Impressive indeed to captivate a large audience with just two blokes on acoustic guitars, but their up-beat songs and impressive musicianship were loved by the crowd. A lovely way to open the superb night of live music.