Frank Turner at the Forum
Even before Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls hit the stage at The Forum, the crowd erupt into applause, giving the act a standing ovation as they open with Four Simple Words. The lyrics “I want to dance” ring true as fans echo the chorus back to Turner and the balcony literally vibrates with energy.
The liveliness the band brings to the stage is playful and contagious as guitarist Benjamin Lloyd and bassist Tarrant Anderson two-step, head-bang and twirl about while performing.
Turner plays a compilation of tracks from his new album Tape Deck Heart, as well as fan-favourites from his first four records: Sleep is for the Week, Love Ire & Song, Poetry of the Deed and England Keep My Bones. Glory Hallelujah has the audience openly celebrating the refutation of God, but his words are oddly comforting: “I know you’re scared of dying but I am too.” Although the chorus might offend a great many, his message excites and unites the viewers before him.
Midway through the set, Turner announces “it’s time to play a drinking song,” and it’s as if you’re sharing in a campfire sing-along, with much better sound quality. His natural, at-ease approach and familiar voice make it seem like he’s conversing with old friends, creating an affable atmosphere among a sea of strangers.
His words speak to you on a personal level in Good and Gone, as he serenades the audience with the opening verse “I have searched for you, in the darkness of a dozen dingy dance floors and the countless queues of cafes in the suburbs”. You reflect upon your own experiences as he narrates your memories but the number is still upbeat with Matt Nasir on the mandolin, adding a lighter melody to the disheartening content.
With humour, earnestness and diverse setlist, Turner and the Sleeping Souls consistently entertain for 19 tracks, leaving onlookers demanding an encore – which they deliver, three times over. The chorus of the final number, I Still Believe, is chanted by the audience alone, but Turner has the last word: “It’s rock and roll.”
Photos: Helen Parish
For further information and future events visit Frank Turner’s website here.
Watch the video for I Still Believe here: