In support of independent music venues
Imogen Brighty-Potts
15:31 20th July 2021

More about:

Few of us have found ourselves jostling, pushing, dancing and singing together in the past year, but a sold out event aimed at supporting Britain’s independent music venues is a pretty good place to pick up where we left off. 

You see Frank live, as you do one of his openers, the optimistic Beans on Toast. These are singers that are made their very best by an angry audience; a loud audience; an audience they can surf on. Everyone we speak to is emotional, excited, many nervous...several masked and on the fringes. But, the smoking area is full of people wanting to talk, get to know each other, and bring back the sense of community that comes with this cult of fans. 

This feels like a best-of show with classics like ‘The Road’ and ‘Photosynthesis’ being played: songs that bring out the very essence of what Turner is. He is a troubadour: angry and impassioned, joyful and rebellious. We are arms in the air, scream-singing along to lyrics people show off proud tattoos of. He is a bold showman, his band are his comrades in the creation of a great time. 

As ‘Be More Kind’ rings out, some of the crowd aren’t heeding Frank’s words. Some of the audience are throwing punches, and we wonder for a second if we have totally forgotten what it is to be at a gig.

We have forgotten, though. How to stand at a bar, how to talk to strangers, ask for a cigarette in the smoking area and — particularly — to dance. We sway and shuffle along to ‘Polaroid Picture’, and as the lyrics describe, realise we are in a moment that we may not get again, after losing it for so long. 

We feel it together, we are the friends in the ‘Ballad of Me and my Friends’ that almost brings Turner to tears, his voice cracking, the audience teary and sweaty. Rock and roll has, as Frank promised, saved us all. 

Those ‘Four Simple Words’ ring oh so true. I want to dance. And I will do that with Frank time and again. Twenty years into his on-the-road punk-folk career and his friends, his wife, his community is in the crowd. This is the second pandemic this venue has survived, and Turner is determined to continue it’s legacy. 

More about:

Photo: Georgia Hunt