Live Review: Frank Turner with Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun and Tim Barry at Lincoln Engine Shed – 25th November 2012

By on Monday, 3rd December 2012 at 2:00 pm

Any Frank Turner gig must without avail be regarded as a spectacle. This guy just doesn’t do bog standard, or just ‘one more gig’ kind of shows. No, he storms the stage every time he steps in front of an audience with his trademark grin and acoustic guitar.

Warming up for Frank is not an enviable task, but one Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun take to like a duck to water. (Mary caught Lockey solo at the Xtra Mile Recordings showcase this year on the first night of programming at SXSW.) The band are heralded by Mr. Turner himself as, “the best new band around at the moment”, and their new EP ‘Death’ is causing a stir at the moment. Singles ‘Warriors’ and ‘Home’ have the threat of becoming something very different and exceptional. Live they work as a well-oiled unit and are a promising warm-up act, especially as they were on at 7:30.

The next man up also was hailed during the show by Turner as “someone who wrote a song so brilliant, it had me painstakingly close to just giving up songwriting altogether”. Richmond, Virginia’s Tim Barry has been making music for 22 years now and with his years come the earnest look of experience and the slight resemblance of Seasick Steve. But with non-handmade instruments…although hey, I think it’d suit him. But that’s just me.

Frank Turner entered the stage around a quarter past nine and the amassed faithful through up their hands in worship to their musical god. Turner didn’t mess about as well. He came on and roared into ‘I am Disappeared’ from his most recent album ‘England Keep My Bones’, a slow builder where Turner sings about how he “keeps having dreams/ of pioneers/ pirate ships and Bob Dylan”. He then burst into his tale of gigging across every continent and sleeping on every couch going with ‘The Road’.

The crowd know every word and in their Church of Frank at which they have come to worship, they utter every syllable of the hymns that they have come to recite as preacher in chief Turner and his Sleeping Souls power through a set opening full of hits, like ‘Reasons Not to Be an Idiot’ and his tribute to atheism ‘Glory Hallelujah’. Not very churchlike now, eh Frank?

The ex-Million Dead frontman and lead screamer of new hardcore outfit Mongol Horde (who I caught on the third day of Reading this year) came across as the ever likeable journeyman of rock ‘n’ roll, engaging in a bit of banter with the fans and getting them all riled up for the next song as it came around. As far as lead singers go at the moment, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who can so effortlessly seize an audiences imagination with just a couple of verses and a guitar. Throughout the set we’re invited into a bit of the Turner tour banter, just as his lighting man runs on stage in an elephant costume and we’re told that the sound man is dressed as a tiger just for “shits and giggles”.

Frank also debuted two new songs at his gig at The Engine Shed in Lincoln. One being ‘We Shall Not Overcome’ and the other being probably the highlight of the gig. That being ‘Four Simple Words’, what were those words? “I want to dance.” And with that, everything onstage goes mad. The audience start frothing a bubbling with the ferocity of water when I’m overboiling my pasta after a long day at work and not paying attention. The song is just as mad as it sounds. With pitch and speed changes galore, it’s a track that goes from ballroom twinkles to the roaring throng of a NOFX track. It’s a winner though. Trust me.

Shenanigans aside, the gig was a triumph in all senses of the word. Not a single soul (even the sleeping ones) left The Engine Shed without a smile on their face and for this reviewer, after around 150-ish gigs, was something I’d never seen before. A crowd in unity getting together of their own accord and just having an amazing time. Nothing sinister, nothing wrong. Just one man, the music and his followers.

Where next, Frank?

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3 Responses

2:01 pm
3rd December 2012

RT @tgtf: New post: Live Review: Frank Turner and Xtra Mile Recordings friends at Lincoln Engine Shed – 25th November 2012:

2:06 pm
3rd December 2012

RT @tgtf: New post: Live Review: Frank Turner and Xtra Mile Recordings friends at Lincoln Engine Shed – 25th November 2012:

2:19 pm
3rd December 2012

RT @tgtf: New post: Live Review: Frank Turner and Xtra Mile Recordings friends at Lincoln Engine Shed – 25th November 2012:

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