Something a journalist should never dare to admit publicly is his own ignorance, but during yesterday’s Frank Turner gig to mark the release of his fourth album England Keep My Bones my lack of knowledge of him, was actually an advantage when it came to the whole evening’s true appreciation.
Let’s immediately say that, while singing, Frank Turner shows one of the purest passions for live events you can find on a rock stage. He’s exhilarating during his speech (mostly based on personal stories) and enchanting when singing. Even from the last row is possible to see clearly the tension of his neck muscles while he screams and ragingly mistreats the six strings of his acoustic guitar.
To be honest it’s impossible to declare he has a superfine technique as a guitarist, but where he lacks in method he compensates with personality. So really easy to play tunes as Peggy Sang The Blues, Eulogy or Photosynthesis can become masterpieces that stick into your mind.
His incredibly high but still rough voice is another important feature that hits the audience and makes them forget they’re standing in front of one guy alone with his acoustic guitar instead of an entire rock band.
During the show he performed more than 20 songs and the sweat on his black t-shirt can testify that this new hope for British rock didn’t try to save any energy and offered all himself to the fans who won tickets to see him (yes, the gig wasn’t only great, but also free).
I didn’t know him before he became famous, but after watching that exhibition I can bet Frank Turner is still the same funny guy who screams everyday life stories in a microphone as he used to do at the beginning of his career.
Probably the secret of his rock and roll purity lies in a simple line he sings in the new album’s first single I Still Believe: “We’re not just saving us, we’re saving souls, we’re havin’ fun.”
And I can say everybody had it during his show at the Barfly.