Music As It Should Be
It’s surprising just how much noise one man and a guitar can make but then even as Frank Turner takes to the stage there is an excited rush of enthusiastic cheering as everyone crammed within the sold out venue embraces the singer with expectant elation.
Electrifying the room with passion laced lyrics, Turner’s voice finds the perfect balance between sincere emotion and rawness, transforming the vast venue into an intimate gig within seconds as each word that passes his lips instantly meets a chorus of backing singers from every section of the crowd. Tales of growing old and stories of youthful mistakes, (like trying to gain a mohawk), captivate the crowd and effortlessly adhere Turner to all. From this we are treated to tales about his friends through the wise black humour of ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Friends’ with an intimacy that draws all in for the final uplifting chorus. Even the sombre sentiment of ‘Long Live The Queen’ manages to emit a feeling of optimism as bodies move in unison, dancing recklessly with arms raised in triumphant encouragement alongside Turner’s powerfully engaging vocals that demand all eyes are fixed firmly on the lone figure on stage with exceptional ease.
It’s not just about the songs tonight though. Pranks courtesy of fellow support act the Polar Bear Club, who invade the stage armed with a mysterious drink for Turner to down, which he dutifully does through grimaces, and shout outs from Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon from the side of the stage fail to side track Turner, instead adding to the fun that encircles his set, allowing the crowd to be privy to some of the secret on tour jokes as the intimate feeling of the set becomes stronger. With apologies over the lack of merch on sale tonight, it would appear the Germans like Turner almost as much as the UK and obliterated his entire stock, the singer proceeds to explain how he’s been trying to get our European brethren to join him in their native tongue for the contagious gang shouts of ‘Photosynthesis’, a skill the Rock City faithful need not worry about as Turner launches into the track with added zest, absorbing all into a riotously raucous bout of energetic singing that leaves all with a permanent smile as he makes his exit.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life which are the best. Forget over complicated song structures that use everything and the kitchen sink for one note, forget pyros and theatrics that would put Kiss to shame, tonight Rock City experienced music as it was meant to be.