Image courtesy of Lotte Shrander
To play 2000 shows is a major feat for any artist. When you take into account the nature of Frank Turner’s concerts, this seems all the more impressive. Nottingham’s Rock City was chosen by Frank himself as the venue for this special occasion and it is easy to see why he did as Rock City is one of the best venues in the country. The acoustics are great and is one of a select number of venues that is small enough to still feel intimate whilst still allowing a sizeable crowd without feeling too packed in.
Joining Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls on this special occasion was Jay, otherwise known as his stage name, Beans on Toast, a long-time friend of Frank’s, whom Frank discovered playing in the Nambucca bar that he references in a number of his songs. The other support for the night was The Tailors, a band that Frank claimed was his favourite ever band. This was the band’s first live performance for nearly a decade and Frank joined them on stage to mark the occasion.
Frank welcomed Jay back on stage during his own set to perform a crowd surf, which started out on the stage, saw him travel all the way to the bar to pick up two shots of Jameson’s. From there, he continued to the back of the crowd past the sound desk and to the other corner, where he shared the Jameson’s with a member of the crowd, before surfing back to the stage. All of this happened during If Ever I Stray, which is one of the songs that gets the crowd going the most at a Frank Turner gig. Very Rock N’ Roll indeed.
When we interviewed Frank, he said that he was not taking requests for this show and on the whole, this seems to have paid off. After 2000 shows you get to a point where you know which song works in a set at which time and nobody is more qualified to create the set than Frank himself. There was a strong mix of songs from his newest album Positive Songs For Negative People, stretching all the way back to 2008’s Love Ire & Song. The set was quite a long one at 25 songs with a cover of Ace of Spades even thrown in for good measure.
The tickets for this show were put into a ballot to ensure that all tickets went to fans and this is probably the fairest way of distributing the tickets. We met one person who had travelled all the way from Italy just for the gig, showcasing just how dedicated the Frank Turner fans are, with no distance too far to see their favourite artist. Those long journeys made by the fans were worthy, as the concert itself was a fantastic way to celebrate 2000 shows and a fitting end to a gruelling 2016 for Frank and the Sleeping Souls, this being their 193rd concert of the year. Frank will take a short deserved break over Christmas before heading straight out to the States to play his biggest tour to date across the pond. We’re impressed he’s still standing after his career so far, let alone pulling off shows like this. Long live Frank and his Sleeping Souls.