Gig Review

Frank Turner
Chuck Ragan, Crazy Arm
Birmingham, Academy
21st March 2010
Frank Turner                    Chuck Ragan      Crazy Arm
Photo Of Chuck Ragan © Copyright Robert LawrenceSuccessfully avoided the queues tonight, got in no such trouble, in fact tonight was relatively stress free apart from the bastard red light for the first two bands, it was an alright night for all involved.

Crazy arm are the first band on tonight, a rock band from these shores of ours! They have a solid heavy rock sound, but there’s nothing to exciting about it, its bouncy it rocks, it rolls but for some reason it doesn't even carry the front row, the crowd is as dead as a doornail, they applaud at the right times, but there reaction to the music is stonewall! The band put on a good show, bouncing around the stage, the band seem really tight as a unit, but the songs while competent, there’s nothing to memorable about them, they’re good songs but there’s not a stand out among them, there seemed to be no killer track to get the crowd really engaged, overall they just seemed to find a crowd that just aren't interested in anything that isn't Frank Turner and that's a damn shame!

Main support was Chuck Ragan, a folk music band lead by the man of the same name. Now I’m not adverse to some folk music, and this tonight wasn't half bad, I like the fiddle playing and the double bass player was a nice addition, but I really couldn't hear them too well although there sound shone through at times when it mattered and the fiddle player had an awesome hobo beard! Chuck Ragans guitar playing simple but good and the vocal performance wasn’t half bad, it seems to be a lesser version of Frank Turner with his full band, I don’t mean than in a bad way either!, it’s a good complimenting band to FT. The crowd seemed a bit more responsive but not that much so you'd really notice. There songs not really that complex but it’s a good mix of instruments that makes a good full sound, catchy at times and the band looked like they were having fun, I enjoyed it, it’s a shame the crowd sucked!

Photo Of Frank Turner © Copyright Robert LawrenceI wasn't sure what to expect tonight as I'm not familiar with Frank Turner, I've heard his name kicked about from time to time, but never really paid that much attention, but with him playing in the academy he must be a fairly big deal! He’s got his full band out on display tonight; finally the crowd come to life making the most noise all evening! The band create a, at times layered sound, but overall is pretty simple in its nature, its mainly his acoustic guitar and his vocal driven music, which makes me wonder, what’s the point in having a backing band! A lucky fan (lizzy) gets to go on stage for Isabel I do believe to play his harmonica, once in a life time and it don’t sound too bad either! I quite enjoyed Dan’s song, simple acoustic song, I like it! I think I’d have preferred just him on his own, not quite Bob Dylan, but still a really good musician, his songs can reach people on many a level, as there’s something in his lyrics for everyone to relate to, his voice is pretty decent bit rough but good power behind it. I'm sure there the fan favourites were out on display tonight as the crowd was singing along to everything tonight. They enjoyed the night as I'm sure Frank did as I'm sure it was one of them nights when everything came together as it was supposed to.

Crazy Arm 3/5
Chuck Ragan 4/5
Frank Turner 5/5

Review By Robert Lawrence

 Frank Turner

Frank Turner

 Chuck Ragan

Kristofer Dommin
Billy James
Cameron Morris

 Crazy Arm

Jon Dailey (Guitar)
Darren Johns (Vocals, Guitar)
Simon Marsh (Drums)
Tim Rowing-Parker (Bass, Vocals)

 Band Related Links
Frank Turner Myspace
Chuck Ragan Myspace
Crazy Arm Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?