The journey goes on
It's been a busy year for Frank Turner, his debut album out, a first UK tour with a backing band and his debut visit as a solo artist to the USA. Now back in the city that has had a major impact on him and his music and recovered from illness that saw him have to pull a show earlier this month, it was time for Frank to take to the stage in what is always set to be an important gig in the development of any artist's career.
The O! Bar was packed and for those of us that have followed the rise of Frank Turner, it was great to see people queuing to get in, even if it was simply out of curiosity.
Like his recent set of UK shows, this was Frank Turner back on his own and given that this was the Kerrang event at the Camden Crawl there was always the slight risk that those looking for something a bit heavier would be disappointed. This didn't seem to be the case and the venue certainly had a good number of Turner regulars there to lend support if it were needed.
From 'Sleep is for the Week' we got 'Real Damage', 'Worse Things Happen At Sea', 'Father's Day' and 'The Ladies Of London Town' spread throughout the forty-five minute set and all seemed to go down well with fans and interested onlookers alike.
Clearly mindful that this was a gig where the press would be in attendance, as well as many who may not have seen him play before, he took the opportunity to ensure that no image sections of the media might have painted of him thus far were misleading. He told the crowd that despite having written a small number of politically themed songs, he was far from a protest artist. Ironically the most politically inspired track from 'Sleep is for the Week', 'Once We Were Anarchists' came next.
With an EP on the way and a new song for the upcoming tour there was definitely something different for even those who've seen him often. Two of the old favourites were left for near the end, the ever popular 'Thatcher Fucked the Kids' getting a huge reaction.
The last word was left for the song that featured a crowd recorded in Camden at the Barfly last summer. Given that this wasn't a gig packed out with the Frank Turner faithful, the audience rendition of the lines "we're definitely going to hell, but we'll have all the best stories to tell" wasn't as loud as I've heard it but few could fail to be impressed at the reaction he got while still being to many a relative unknown.
With a bit of luck the big plug he gave for his next London show at the Bush Hall in early May will have stuck in the mind of a few that wouldn't otherwise have gone. I've already seen positive comments regarding this show from some sections of the music press, and that along with a few more through the door at future shows, preferably having checked the album out, is the major goal for most playing the Camden Crawl. For those who fell into the converted being preached to category, this was Frank on top form as usual so the potential was there for everyone to be a winner.