Frank Turner – 22nd April 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – Review and photos
By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)
Frank Turner points out early in the set that there’s a bit of plague doing the rounds on their tour bus, but as far as the audience are concerned there is no depletion of energy on stage and you wouldn’t be able to tell. The band storm through a set of favourites and new songs with aplomb.
Opening with ‘1933’ from the new album is a bold choice, but worth it on attitude alone. The song rails against the general chaos of the world of the moment, a warning of history repeating itself: “Be suspicious of simple answers, that shit’s for teenagers… you can’t fix the world if all you have is a hammer…”
The new songs from upcoming album Be More Kind fit into the set well. Drawing on the influence of the general shite that is happening in the world now, Frank tries to at least to attack it from a positive perspective on with his lyrics on ‘Make America Great Again’ and the title track.
Frank admits that the new album’s title track ‘Be More Kind’ was written to himself, but it also works as a rallying call to those who are struggling to deal with the general negativity which is prevalent in 2018 to least improve their own little corner of the world and hope it spreads further.
Even though there are a few new songs on exhibition, there are plenty of uptempo earlier anthems in the set, such as ‘The Road’, ‘Recovery’, and ‘If I Ever Stray’, and at the times the crowd give the Academy’s PA a system a challenge in terms of sheer volume.
A short solo acoustic section sees a very rare live airing of Anymore, a beautiful and poignant admission of falling out of love with someone, which is followed up with crowd favourites of ‘The Way I Tend to Be’ and ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’.
The new tune ‘Blackout’ has such a strong hook that even though it was the first time I’d heard the song I was singing along by the second chorus.
The encore includes a medley of ‘I Still Believe’ and ‘Four Simple Words’, two songs which encapsulate the life-affirming power of experiencing great live music with your mates, and the sheer volume of this sold out Sunday night singalong suggests that they’re all on the same wavelength tonight.
The Next Storm
Make America Great Again
Be More Kind
I Am Disappeared
If I Ever Stray
Reasons Not to Be An idiot
The Opening Act of Spring
The Way I Tend To Be
Out of Breath
I Knew Prifrock Before He Got Famous
I Still Believe
Four Simple Words
The night is rounded off by ‘Polaroid Picture’, a beautiful song about cherishing the good times with your loved ones because you don’t know what circumstance will bring down the line.
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