It’s hard to imagine there is anyone in music today who works and tours as hard as Frank Turner. ‘Always on Tour’ is something of a slogan for him and it’s not without good reason. This was show number 2161 for the singer-songwriter just a few days ahead of the release of his seventh album Be More Kind.
Fans of all ages flocked to the Exeter leg of his extensive UK tour and were treated to a sublime, relentless, energetic and wall-to-wall fun couple of hours. It was packed with so many highlights that it’s pretty hard to pick out specific tracks, although The Way I Tend To Be, and Recovery were both real treats.
With plenty of new music in his locker, Turner was nonetheless careful to deliver a real mix of old and new during the show, keeping fans who have been on the journey with him from the start just as happy as the newer arrivals to the party.
New material such as 1933 and Blackout have a real freshness about them. Although they may not be the true favourites of old timers amongst Turner’s fanbase, they do further demonstrate his diversity as an artist… and his ability to continue to hold a song while crowdsurfing is equally impressive!
The set included an acoustic section that gave the Sleeping Souls a breather and comprised the songs Get It Right, Song For Josh, and The Ballad of Me And My Friends, but in essence, it was no less intense or energetic than the rest of the show.
Turner is a musical antidote to some of the bewildering madness around us, and somehow, when he urges everyone in the crowd to put their arm around the person next to them – whether they knew them or not – it didn’t seem contrived or gimmicky, merely a literal demonstration of his new album’s theme of being more kind.
Neither preaching nor condescending, his is a voice of reason whose joyful songs galvanise, embolden, and make the world seem like an altogether better, more optimistic place.
Review & photos: Martin Allen for Sync
Setlist: 1933 / Get Better / The Next Storm / Recovery / Make America Great Again / The Way I Tend To Be / Be More Kind / I Am Disappeared / The Road / If Ever I Stray / Reasons Not To Be An Idiot / Glory Hallelujah / The Opening Act of Spring / Journey of the Magi / Get It Right / Song For Josh / The Ballad of Me And My Friends / Blackout / Out of Breath / Photosynthesis // The Sand In The Gears / I Still Believe / Four Simple Words / Polarioid Picture
Frank Turner – Blackout