hmv.com reviews... Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls @ Hereford's Jailhouse
He's more used to headlining arenas these days, but Frank Turner played a series of tiny venues earlier this month to roadtest material for the follow-up to Tape Deck Heart (which you can preview on the right of the page). We caught his Hereford show...
Frank Turner. Arena-filling folkster.
Any good supports?
Singer/songwriter Rebecca Clements was the only support and received warm applause from the crowd during her set. She also joined Frank Turner on stage later to sing a song from his upcoming album.
Was it full, How were the crowd?
The gig was at the 250 capacity Jailhouse (which is sadly to shut soon and where Frank had previously played in 2007) and was completely sold out. Not surprising given Turner's stature, but it did make for an electric atmosphere with few people in the audience believing that they were seeing Frank Turner in a venue that size in 2014.
The majority of the crowd knew the words to all the songs (bar the new songs!) and sang along as if they were onstage themselves!
What was the set like? What did they play?
The set was split into three sections, the brand new album was played in full, then Turner played a solo run and then a greatest hits set.
Hearing the new album played live in full was a treat for everyone in the crowd, and, on first listen, it sounds brilliant, full of uplifting and sometimes melancholy songs. But, with nobody familiar with the new songs, the audience watched in enthusiastic glee and with great anticipation, new songs 'Mittens' (which had just been named that day with a bit of crowd participation) and 'Josephine' being the standout new tracks.
Frank then did a four song solo set before being joined again by the Sleeping Souls for a full set, which was particularly special, especially 'Wessex Boy' and 'The Way I Tend To Be'. They then played a three song encore playing 'Recovery', 'I Still Believe' and ending with a rousing run-through 'Four Simple Words' that tore the roof off.
Any good between song banter?
With this being at such an intimate gig, it was as if Frank Turner was talking to a group of friends. After talking about the new album and asking the crowd not to film any of it, he chatted openly about the sadness of so many small venues closing (with special mention of The Jailhouse), told us a few drunken band stories and had the audience enthralled all night.
Did they put on much of a show?
This was all about the music, just the band in an intimate venue playing their hearts out (Frank Turner was covered in sweat by the end!) and the crowd singing and dancing along.
What was the highlight of the set?
The new album played live was pretty special, but the encore was amazing with 'I Still Believe' being the standout.
Where can I catch them next?
Brixton Academy on 17th December at XFMs Winter Wonderland and they will be touring extensively in the new year when the new album is released.