The Real Deal
This was the seventh time I'd seen Frank Turner in the last year, and potentially the most interesting set of them all. It's one thing to play to your own fans on the way up, it's another to open somebody else's tour. Then consider the fact that this was Frank Turner doing his solo thing supporting two full on rock acts...sure he'd fit in, but how would the Newcastle Biffy fans take to him?
The Newcastle University venue was far from full as Frank took to the stage at around 7.15, but those who were there seemed mighty impressed. Clearly his reputation has grown to the point where recent EP opener 'Real Damage' was a genuine crowd pleaser, with a few down the front really moving. Either 'Thatcher Fucked The Kids' is another to have spread or people just love a bit of politician bashing (lets face it who doesn't) but that was another popular moment of the half hour set.
The most striking part of this performance was the tangible connection between Frank and crowd; I'm not exaggerating when I say this is as impressive a first on of three that I've seen for a long time. As the dying notes of 'The Ballad of Me and My Friends' drifted away it was clear those who already knew Frank Turner were very satisfied, and those who didn't were equally impressed.
The word is he's shifted a good number of CDs on this tour. With Biffy Clyro set to play Reading and Leeds hopefully some of their fans who caught Frank Turner on this tour will check him out on the Carling Stage and more importantly, bring a mate or two along for the ride.
I've enjoyed other Frank Turner gigs much more than this one as this was as much a showcase, but there was still a feeling at the end that this was Frank living up to the high standard I've come to expect.