Frank Turner has played a lot of shows. Like a lot. He proudly boasts ‘welcome to show number 2158’ as he takes the stage, producing a deafening cheer from the crowd. With so many performances under his belt you’d expect Turner to have gone one of two ways by now. Either the large quantity of gigs will have burnt him out or the endless touring will have made him a master of his craft.
Thankfully for the sold-out crowd in the O2 Academy Turner falls very much into the second category.
Turner kicked off the night with new tune ‘1933’ of his upcoming seventh studio album ‘Be More Kind’ before launching into ‘Get Better’. It was an energetic start but incredibly Turner kept that level of intensity up for the whole 100-minute set. During the house bringing down rendition of ‘Four Simple Words’ at the shows end there was no indication that Turner had just rocked out for over an hour and a half.
The setlist was perfectly crafted featuring new hits ‘Blackout’ and ‘Make America Great Again’ alongside fan favourites like ‘Recovery’ and ‘Reasons Not to Be an Idiot’. For an artist with such a large collection of songs it’s another achievement worth noting that Turner manages to put together a set with something for fans of every eras of his lengthy career.
His supporting band ‘The Sleeping Souls’ shouldn’t be forgotten either, with them putting in a similar level of effort to the main man.
Between getting the whole audience to sit down mid-song, creating mosh pits and even entering the audience to dance with a star struck fan there’s always something to see during one of his performances. Not that Turner relies on gimmicks, there’s no pyrotechnics or big screen projections, his musical performance very much stands on its own.
Frank Turner is often referred to as one of the greatest performers this country has ever produced, and as the buzzing crowd in the O2 Academy can attest to that is a reputation very well earned.