Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls
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Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls




While something of a relatively unknown quantity in Australia, British native Frank Turner has cut quite a figure for himself over the past ten years in his homeland. A singer/songwriter with elements of both folk and punk music to his sound, he has made a strong name for himself in Australia over the past five years, primarily due to an electric spot as part of the Bluesfest lineup.

Back in Australia for Bluesfest this year, his name and reputation have grown significantly. The gig tonight at The Corner Hotel was completely sold out, no mean feat on a freezing cold Sunday night. Ably supported by local balladeer Lincoln le Fevre and American singer/song writer Jon Snodgrass, with whom Turner has both recorded. In a wonderful surprise, Turner was featured onstage with Snodgrass for half his set. Tonight got off to a great start.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Backed by his talented four piece band The Sleeping Souls, Turner proceeded to whip the crowd into an absolute frenzy. We are talking some of the most passionate, vocal and loving fans this scribe has seen in a long time, right up there with Metallica and Dropkick Murphys fans with regards to their dedication to the music and artist that they love.

Kicking off with 'Four Simple Words', Turner and his band played an excellent set of songs from across his back catalogue and his soon to be released new album. Their take on rock was a refreshingly charming and candidly honest one. In a world full of falsity and actual music merely being viewed as ‘product’, tonight was a breath of fresh air.

Case in point: Turner, talking to the crowd, described the last album as ‘the breakup album’. He then went on to talk about the new album as the ‘pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back out there with life’ album. It was so likeable and positive the way that, although his songs deal with the map of the human heart, he refuses to be maudlin, self-pitying or depressing with both his lyrical content and his onstage persona. It is this quality that has endeared him to many across the world, such was the incredible response from an incredibly joyous crowd, who knew the man’s back catalogue inside out, singing along loudly and proudly with every word to every song.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Overall, the quality and honest of Turner of a songwriter really shines through his work, on songs such as 'The Road', the touching 'St Christopher’, 'The Real Damage', 'I Am Disappeared', 'Wessex Boy' and, in particular, 'Substitute'. Not to be confused with the classic track by The Who, this was a rather poignant track about how music keeps us sane and can be something of a ‘substitute’ when something lacks in our life, in particular a partner to share your life with.

Tonight’s performance was an extremely impressive one. It’s heartening to see how down to earth and unpretentious Turner and his cracking band were in both their music and their onstage persona. Just when one thinks current music is, in general, rubbish, along comes the wonderful Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls to restore your faith.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

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