Once we were post hardcore

Two years ago we watched Frank Turner ripping it up on the Lock Up stage with Million Dead and just a couple of months later they were gone forever. What a couple of years it's been for him since then, taking folk to the masses and culminating in a fantastic album that met (almost) universal acclaim and is sure to feature in the album of the year lists.

His return to Leeds finds him with full band backing and a sizeable crowd that give him probably the biggest reception in this tent all weekend as he takes the stage. This reaction is only bettered by the response that set opener 'The Real Damage' gets. We always knew this was one of those songs that everyone could relate to but when you look around the crowd today you get a sense of just how many people it's touched a chord with. Pretty much everyone in the middle of the tent is singing along to every word and it doesn't stop with the opening song, they continue to sing along to every single track. We probably shouldn't be surprised as he's played so many shows over the last couple of years it's more than likely that everyone here has seen him play a handful of times at least.

The set itself is familiar but it's perfect for this setting, the only disappointment being that there was no time for the excellent 'Ladies of London Town'. That omission aside we do get most of the other strong songs from the album, 'Vital Signs', 'Fathers Day' and with 'Back in the Day' he even gets an old cynic like me singing along. Frank is clearly buzzing off the size and reaction of the crowd and he seems to have extra passion and bite today. It's all very impressive and as we've noted before the presence of the full band makes a real difference. The crowd participation moment of the day probably comes in 'Thatcher Fucked the Kids' but the crowd have held enough back for a truly rousing rendition of set closer 'The Ballad of me & my Friends'. Everyone's smiling, Frank seems quite blown away and put simply it's a glorious return and vindication for everything he's been working towards for the last two years.