Frank Turner at the Royal Albert Hall was truly a feel-good night in every sense of the word. It was my third Frank gig, and him playing at the Royal Albert Hall was a bit as epic a combination as seeing Bruce Springsteen playing at Wembley Stadium. The friend I took with me had never seen Frank live before or heard much of his music, but she agreed to come with me anyway. I am happy to report the concert created a new Frank Turner fan and I’m pretty proud of that.
The venue is absolutely stunning and deserves all the praise it receives. I wasn’t too sure how a punky country sound would do inside those holy walls, but I was not disappointed. The sheer clarity and resonance of the instruments and singing was astounding. Even more so, the singing along of roughly 5000 people sounded more like a filled Wembley Stadium rather than an 18th century concert hall. I’m telling you Queen Victoria sure knew what she wanted. It must be those mushrooms, aka fiberglass acoustic diffusers, hanging from the ceiling that were put in after a acoustic tests in the 1960s.
The gig kicked off with the ever awesome ‘Four Simple Words’, followed by ‘The Road’ which is an absolute must at any Frank Turner gig, I won’t go home without it.
Over all the whole set list was magnificent! The oldies, the goodies and even some of the new stuff that Frank the Sleeping Souls test drove on a small tour in November. So we got to enjoy ‘Get Better’, ‘Out of Breath’ and ‘The Next Storm’.
The concert was part of the concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust. So not only did I do something good for myself, but I also got to something good for someone else. It was very inspiring to see what the charity can do to help young kids with cancer. The whole topic hit home for everyone when Frank started the last song with the first chords of “Long live The Queen”. A song dedicated to his friend Lexi who succumbed to breast cancer and inspired the lyrics to the song. It is generally a big sing along part of any gig anyway, but with the charity behind be concert everyone felt the goose bumps and shouted their full little hearts out and it was magnificent. “We live to dance another day. It’s just now we’ll have to dance for one more of us. So stop looking so damn depressed and sing with all our hearts ‘Long Live The Queen’”.
As an amazing encore he played four more songs, starting the extra scoop of musical enjoyment was ‘The Angel Islington’, another one from the upcoming album. Ever since I first heard it in November I have completely and utterly fallen in love with this song. Not only because the area is special to me personally but also because of the story behind the lyrics. About a love that may be too far too reach, but there’s still hope that maybe someday that person will see the light. And it’s about starting again after something broke. “…and I’ll meet you on the corner of Upper Street and the City Road. And you, of course, the Angel Islington. Oh come on, a boy can hope”. The evening was finished off with the glorious ‘I still believe’, a song that everyone who likes hand made music can sing from the bottom of their heart and shout the lyrics loud. Because sometimes music needs to be shouted, and sometimes it needs to be shouted for.