On Wednesday night at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, Frank Turner played his 1,663rd show. Having been in attendance at his 868th, 967th, 1,292nd and 1,524th gigs I can attest to the fact that he is a musician who only gets better. For many bands, playing so many shows results in a disconnection with the audience and a sense that they’ve stopped enjoying what they do. They get up on stage, perform a well-rehearsed and often very good show, but you feel like they’re just going through the motions. Yet even with so many shows under his belt, he still gives the impression of loving every second of what he does.
The night started with support from Lincoln Le Fevre, a Tasmanian folk-punk-rock singer, and the American Jon Snodgrass. The latter obviously being a good friend of Frank Turner’s, who was sitting by the side of the stage throughout his set and joined him halfway through for an impromptu and very casual jam of a few songs the two of them had written together. The atmosphere was a lot like watching a couple of your mates doing a gig down the local pub, as despite his fame and success Frank Turner always comes across as the most down-to-Earth, normal guy.
When he came back on for his own set accompanied by his backing band The Sleeping Souls, the energy that he brought onto the stage was contagious. From the very beginning the entire room was jumping, dancing and singing along to every word, and the momentum didn’t stop throughout the entire show. As it was their second night at the Corner Hotel, the band decided to switch things up a bit and divert from their usual set list by playing Turner’s 2011 album ‘England Keep My Bones’ in its entirety for the first time ever, before continuing with the usual songs. This has always been a really personal album to me and hearing it live all the way through was just amazing, if a little emotional.
Maybe it was the intimacy of a smaller venue, maybe it was being reminded of home while on the other side of the world, but this was easily my favourite Frank Turner concert to date. Anyone who hasn’t had the chance to see him live before, I cannot recommend it enough as he gives some of the best shows I have ever seen. With his sixth studio album coming out later this year he has already promised another tour in the near future.