up tonight is Acoustic folk guitarist George Frakes,
strangely wearing a woman's hat. He's not all
that bad, but he's not very exciting, he lost
the crowd after the first song, they clap when
they're supposed to, respectfully, but mostly
the crowd just needs prodding into life. He's
quite good on the guitar, quite quick finger work
when he gets going, the crowd claps along but
that's the most participation he gets from them,
and these moments are few and far between. He's
not a bad act and he has a good tuneful voice
but I think this crowd need the liveliness of
a full band.
up tonight is American punk bluegrass band, Larry
& His Flask, finally to lift things up after
the slow start of the opener, and I think the
crowd are shocked into life, with their very lively
sound and even livelier on stage antics, most
of the band pulling rock faces and jumping around
like its going out of fashion, a joy to watch
and even more so with the sound, it's just full
on bluegrass with the punk influence to really
give it a proper kick, I've never seen a double
bass swung around like that, and a acoustic guitar
that's being thrashed to within an inch of its
life. The vocals are a bit on the plain side but
they're all singing in harmony so it's not that
bad plus it's dulled a little by the twang of
the banjo and just the full on in your face sound.
If you're after something a little different this
is for you.
been a few years since I last saw Frank Turner
Live, and the man's reputation seems to be ever
growing and pretty much universally loved by all.
It must be that he's a nice bloke and the middle
ground sound between punk and folk, not as lively
as punk but not as soft as folk.
Tonight he's with his backing band The Sleeping
Souls, they open the set with 'Four Simple Words'
which starts off slow but has the crowd singing
right away, great opening choice that picks up
after that slow start, this is followed by 'The
Road' and then 'Peggy Sang The Blues', keeping
that pace up a bit before going into the superb
sing along songs, 'Reasons Not To Be An Idiot'
and 'Glory Hallelujah'.
get taken down a notch with the serious 'I am
Disappeared', but again the crowd sings on, this
is one of the gigs and he's one of those acts
where everyone knows the words and sings along,
it feels like a party in here at times.
There are a few new songs in the set to offer,
from the very recently released new album, Tape
Deck Heart. 'The Way I Tend To Be' is one of the
new songs, it's pretty averaged paced but a possible
future classic as people in the crowd are already
singing along, not many but a few.
set carries on with songs such as 'Wessex Boy'
and 'Substitute', there really isn't a bad song
in this set, then Frank goes acoustic solo for
a few songs, 'The Real Damage', 'Anymore' which
is a new song and has a funny story to go with
it and then a song request, 'Nashville Tennessee',
a great song that is.
'Plain Sailing Weather' another new song, gets
The Sleeping Souls band back on stage and gets
lively again, this is followed by the likes of
'One Foot Before The Other', then a rock version
of 'Long Live The Queen'.
the new album opener, where we see Frank getting
people jogging on the spot during the chorus.
'If I Ever Stray' and main set closer 'Photosynthesis',
superb songs, all of them close out the main set
to massive cheer, then off they bimble for the
After a short break, Frank opens on his own with
'Sailing', before The Sleeping Souls carry on
with the excellent 'I Knew Prufrock Before He
Got Famous' and 'Try This At Home' and the evening
closer sing along 'I Still Believe'. What a great
set from this man, and his band of course, he
really knows how to put on a solid show and a
set full of songs to get crowd singing, you don't
get it often, but its worth it when it happens
George Frakes 3/5
Larry And His Flask 4/5
Frank Turner 5/5
Review By Robert Lawrence