Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 13/11/2012 | Frank Turner – O2 Academy, Liverpool

13/11/2012 | Frank Turner – O2 Academy, Liverpool

Lisa Bentley


Frank Turner returned to Liverpool this week as part of his latest epically long tour. No one can accuse this man of being lazy; this year has seen him play 127 gigs so far (with many more still to come) across the world. Not bad for a little guy from Wessex.

Before hitting the stage the crowd were treated to two support acts – Jim Lockey & the Solemn Souls and Tim Barry. Barry’s music blew the audience away as he waxed lyrical about politics and personal tales. His storytelling was reminiscent of Johnny Cash in his darker days and he was the perfect act to accompany this tour. When Turner entered the crowd understandably went crazy, with his troubadour style playing well to Liverpool’s student and post-uni crowd. Lyrically, he is a messiah, a philosopher and an artist who can unify a room. His songs are culturally specific and speak out to a disaffected generation. It is in this unfathomable talent that Turner shines.

The set was peppered with songs from the new, as of yet unreleased album, which seem to have taken on a more pop sound – a sharp change from his last album England Keep My Bones, which overall felt heavier and greatly influenced by Dropkick Murphy’s whom he had previously toured with. Turner played a whole host of his classic tracks such as The Road, The Ballad of Me and My Friends and Prufrock. He also engaged the audience in a dance-off, pitting the city against others he had played on the tour. At his command, the crowd dutifully responded.

However, you do get the feeling that Turner could be singing the items off a shopping list and still make it sound profound. He has so much faith in his lyrics that we implicitly trust him to verbalise our internal anguish; he sings songs of the everyday and extols their downsides, succinctly explaining how we feel towards them. He sings about how we all expected more, but aren’t brought down by this. Overall his music is optimistic.

The gig was classic Frank Turner. The audience played their part, feeding off the man himself but also off each other, all there to witness their own personal musical saviour. Their God – Frank Turner – did not disappoint.