(Great Escape 2011!) Live Review: Frank Turner at Brighton Coalition – 12th May 2011

By on Thursday, 26th May 2011 at 11:00 am

We’ve heard it all before: he’s the hardest working man in modern day rock ‘n’ roll. he did 24 gigs in 24 hours. Oh and surprise, surprise: everyone’s favourite punk rocking troubadour, Frank Turner, was at it again, running around Brighton at this year’s Great Escape.

Before his evening set at Coalition, Frank had already been in conversation in front of an audience for the professional networking portion of the Great Escape at the Queens Hotel and had spoken in HMV. And before that he had travelled down from Edinburgh. The man just doesn’t stop.

His set in Coalition though was different to his normal shows where he is normally backed by a band. Today he cut a lonely figure on the stage: just him and his guitar in front of the crammed room full of fanatics. His arrival was to rapturous cheers and the crowd had obviously been waiting for only one thing, the first chord from that acoustic guitar.

He opened with live favourite ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He was Famous’, and immediately the crowd was his. Every word was mirrored by the approximately 300 people in the venue, me included. His ‘backing singers’ were there with him for every song, even the unreleased ones from his new record ‘England Keep My Bones,’ which he gave 2 songs on the record an outing, the already well known ‘I Am Disappeared’ and ‘The English Curse.’

The latter was probably the most interesting moment in the set, as the ‘backing singers’ as he called the crowd fell silent. The intensity of this a capella song is difficult to describe, but nevertheless for those 3 minutes, the audience were under his spell and they were going nowhere. Apart from the new material, Frank delivered arguably one if the strongest sets I have ever seen him play, with or without his band. Old and new songs were received with cheers and whistles and Mr. Turner did all he could to show the Coalition audience a great time.

It’s sure to say that Frank Turner if he can keep delivering sets as good as this one will soon be creeping up that running order at festivals. He is an act who never fails to deliver, to new and old fans alike. What’s next then for Frank? Well bar his new record, he has festival slots all over Europe to look forward to. So if he’s coming to a field near you, take my advice, this man makes brilliant music and you ‘want’ to listen to it.

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