Frank Turner is becoming a rockstar in the United Kingdom- no doubt about that. He’s about two spots away from headlining festivals across the pond and he’s pretty much the hottest thing going over there. So when Frank Turner booked intimate shows at The Hotel Cafe a few weeks ago, I was excited to see what the hype was about. Razorlight, another huge UK act that doesn’t have nearly the following here in the US, surprised me with their live performances so I was hoping for the same. Being familiar with some of Turner’s albums, I thought I would have a good base to appreciate the show, but damn was I wrong! Literally every person in attendance there knew the lyrics to every song Frank played. This creates a super fun atmosphere for die-hard fans, but definitely left me and few others looking like “hipster pricks” (as Frank would half-jokingly call us) who didn’t sing along. So now there I am looking like the obvious “hipster prick” as 100 people sang the damn lyrics to every damn song. Regardless, the show was still a good time for everyone there. Frank is sarcastically funny, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and likes to sing drunken pub songs. With that recipe, you are in for a good night of fun. Keep in mind, Turner is literally an English punk-rocker turned folk-singer, so it’s just him and his guitar up there. With that said, he does a great job of capturing the audience with his performance. There is something about him you just want to like and root for. His rendition of “I Am Disappeared (Bob Dylan)” was one of a few songs he played from the upcoming album England Keep My Bones. Only the most hardcore fans knew this song, but it didn’t keep it from being any less fun for the whole crowd. The night ended with “drunken covers” which was probably the highlight of my night because I could actually sing those songs (and “The Road” of course, my favorite tune from the man). Fat Mike from NOFX made a cameo appearance at the show as well which got the crowd fired up and snapping pictures. The last song of the night, admittedly one I didn’t know, was sung by Frank standing on one of the small tables of the venue with all of the fans gathered around him singing along. Pretty awesome scene there and an image that made you realize that the die-hard fans were loving every moment. I’ll look forward to having a few too many beers and seeing Frank play a small show again. Oh ya, worth mentioning that the four people sitting around me were blacked out drunk by the time they left- Frank sure does know how to get his fans wasted.
Hey, thanks for posting your review of the show(s) I was fortunate enough to attend. Just an FYI, though–“I Am Disappeared” isn’t a cover; it just had/has the unofficial title of “Bob Dylan” (I think) because that’s what he called it before he settled on a title. Most people didn’t know it because it’s on the album that comes out tomorrow and, unless you trawl YouTube for concert videos as I do, you wouldn’t have known that song unless you saw him play LA last September.
Anyway, it’s okay if you’re a hipster prick…as long as you’re now a FT fan as well. 🙂
Good catch Analisa! It being a new song makes sense now. Edited.