Live. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls


Live. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Tim Barry, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun at Reading Hexagon. 15th November 2012.

Frank Turner is an artist doing everything right; Non-stop tours, sincere passion for his music as well as the music of others and a very real respect for his ever-swelling fanbase. Climbing festival bills, a sold out arena show and a slot at a certain critically acclaimed opening ceremony have all played a part in his cycle of exposure that’s been hard earned but richly deserved. Digressing from his folk roots, Frank Turner is now making music that’s well rounded, more accessible and more encompassing. This is Rock n’ Roll and we like it.

Both handpicked supports, Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun and Tim Barry, sit at opposites ends of the folk music spectrum but share the furious passion and heartfelt tales that lay at the heart of the genre.

Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun build on their folk foundations with a hail of hardcore anarchy and smattering of rock sensibilities to create a glorious and textured sound that’s as deep and varied as it is beautiful.  A hectic tour schedule has resulted in a set that kicks off like a polished explosion. Initial doubts about how this Cheltenham four piece’s ardent and vivacious energy would transfer on a big stage were quashed as it intensified with the marvel and wonder of a band set to dominate.

Tim Barry was a volcanic eruption of warmth and sincerity. A brief introduction before relocating into the audience provided a dynamic start to his set.  This fit of punk spontaneity instantly won over the crowd but did attract a worried reaction from security.  An eclectic but personal lyrical content alongside a guttural twang came together with an approachable stage presence to blow the crowd away. With songs about stowaways, murder and slavery, Tim Barry covered a great deal of ground very quickly but made sure to leave with a message. “Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t fix the things that you feel are wrong.”

Show number 1290 opened with the dark and twisting I Am Disappeared before seeping into the infallible The Road, inciting an orgy of reaction that saw the crowd in fine lungs and good spirits.

Frank Turner’s vibrant and enthusiastic approach to his music lends itself to commanding a crowd and throughout the evening they never strayed from his grasp. The older tracks have been dragged into the present and fully exploit the swerving excellence of The Sleeping Souls with the likes of Long Live The Queen and Father’s Day reverberating under grand refresh. The set leaned heavily on latest release, England Keep My Bones, the songs managing to keep their biting edge eighteen months later.

Three glimpses into the future further reinforced the notion that Frank Turner is a diverse, gifted songwriter with an ever-spreading range of influences and output. Recovery charges with a heart of rock, holding the swirling, heavy lyrics aloft as they describe falling down and trying to get back up again. Wherefore Art Thou, Gene Simmons? saw Frank stripped of his band as he let the songs bare enchantment provide all the punch it needed while Four Simple Words went the other way. Glam and fabulous, Four Simple Words is laced with stuttering beauty that saw ballroom dancing in the aisles and a human pyramid in the pit.

The ever-faithful Photosynthesis provided a false finish before Frank Turner abandoned the stage in favour of the audience for a furious rendition of Dan’s Song that closed proceedings on another fantastic, exuberant rock show.

1290 shows in and Frank Turner shows no signs of tiring or slowing down. Thank goodness because, backed by The Sleeping Souls, Frank is one of the most exciting and glorious talents we have.



~ by justdip on 21/11/2012.

2 Responses to “Live. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls”

  1. Where did you get the poster image from? its amazing. Great review by the way.

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