Me and seeing Frank Turner live has a long and storied history.
The first time I was supposed to see Frank live was when he played the O2 Academy in Newcastle with his sort of side project Mongol Horde. I had a ticket, I had time off work, I couldn’t arrange a lift home nor a hotel, so I had to miss it.
Then I got a ticket for show number 1989 at The Garage in Aberdeen. This time, of course, accommodation was not an issue as I would be staying with the parents. Unfortunately, I bought the tickets without making sure I could get time off work. So, I had to miss it.
I also got a ticket for show 1993, again in Newcastle, this time at Northumbria Uni. Again, couldn’t afford accommodation, couldn’t get a lift. Sadly, I had to miss it.
Then I found out about last night. Frank Turner headlining an outside show in Newcastle. I got my ticket, provisionally booked a hotel and eventually found someone to give me a lift.
Wednesday, I got a ticket from the place I bought the tickets. Due to logistical issues, the event was no longer outside, but at the O2 Academy. Hey, still going ahead, right?
Thursday, got another email. The gig was no longer starting at 3pm but 5pm. Now, there were supposed to be six acts performing and that was apparently still on. Though, obviously, it was going to be tight. Now, I’m getting worried that it might be cancelled altogether.
Yesterday, got picked up, went to Newcastle, went for a quick pre gig pint, then to the venue. I’ll say one thing about the O2 Academy, the lager may be expensive, but at least it’s shite.
The first act was Sean McGowan. He got the event going with bags of energy. He also made the first of many references to the change of venue, pointing out that, as it was raining, it was probably a good move.
Next up was hot milk. Unfortunate name, but they fucking went hard.
Then we had Holy Moly and the Crackers. These guys rock far, far too hard for a band with an accordion player. They were by far my favourite of the support acts. So much so, I bought a t shirt:
(And, no, I will not smile so don’t ask.)
Then there was Beans on Toast. He regularly supports Frank, so it was no surprise he did so again. It was my first time hearing him and I’m impressed. Sings about serious subjects with humour.
The last support act were The Wildhearts. Frank is a huge fan and came out to sing with them at one point. I can see why he likes them, they were brilliant.
Then, the man himself. Absolutely did not disappoint. He was absolutely outstanding. I sang my heart out and it was just a great communal feeling the entire set, led by Frank. one of the best experiences of my recent life.
I stood for the entire thing and I’m not sure my legs have quite forgiven me. I can grow new legs, right?
Top row L-R: Sean McGowan, hot milk, Holy Moly and the Crackers, second row: Beans on Toast, The Wildhearts, Frank singing with The Wildhearts, all the rest Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls.
(Incidentally, is anyone else getting a pop up about leaving the site when trying to upload pictures?)
And finally, a Frank Turner song that I think is needed in this day and age: