With a new album, ‘Be More Kind’, set for release this Friday Frank Turner is doing what Frank Turner does best. That is of course touring, and tonight with The Sleeping Souls in tow he arrives at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend. Tonight is the fourteenth scheduled regional show out of eighteen on the UK leg of the tour. Turner will then headline all four nights of his Lost Evenings Festival based at the Roundhouse in London.
It’s safe to say therefore that not just Turner but his support for the tour are fully in the swing of things. Up first is The Homeless Gospel Choir, AKA Derek Zanetti, who shows in true punk rock spirit he is prepared for anything when technical issues force him to ditch the stage and electricity completely to open his set acoustically from inside the crowd.
Following that wonderful opening spectacle and with technical issues fixed Zanetti returns to the stage and completes his set of engaging protest songs. As he finishes with ‘Normal’, Zanetti is joined onstage by Canadians Arkells who just so happen to be our next support act. As Zanetti departs Arkells launch straight into their set with ‘Knocking At The Door’. For the next thirty minutes Arkells showcase their genre stretching brand of rock music to the delight of the audience finishing with a rousing run through of ‘Leather Jacket’.
Soon enough it’s time for Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls to take to the stage and they do so with a bang, opening with a fast and furious trio of ‘1933’, ‘Get Better’ and ‘The Next Storm’. The set tonight is a good mix of old and new with recent single ‘Make America Great Again’ being sandwiched between fan favourites ‘Recovery’ and ‘The Way I Tend To Be’ as band and fans alike lose themselves in the magnificence that is a Turner show.
Turner’s connection with his fans runs deep and he is in jovial mood tonight as he continually engages the audience between songs. ‘Be More Kind’, the title track of Turner’s upcoming album is up next and alongside the other tracks that have been released so far goes shows the diversity that looks to be on offer from the new release.
A Turner show always switches pace regularly and tonight Turner uses a short period onstage solo to deliver three tracks from his debut album in the form of ‘My Kingdom For A Horse’, ‘Father’s Day’ and the mighty ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Friends’. Soon enough Turner is rejoined by The Sleeping Souls and the likes of ‘Out Of Breath’ and ‘Photosynthesis’ see both mosh pits and a staged sit in.
Before the evening is out Turner grants the obligatory encore which sees the likes of ‘I Still Believe’ and ‘Four Simple Words’ bring another fantastic Turner show to a close. As he ends with ‘Polaroid Picture’ Turner has once again proven that he is a class live act that will have even the most casual fan eating out the palm of his hand. The opportunity to see Turner live is one not to be missed, so it’s probably a good thing that he has already announced another UK tour for early 2019!