The eclectic crowd gathered at Victoria Warehouse on Saturday night was a testament to the pull that these live acts still have. The support came from Grace Petrie and Jimmy Eat World, two acts that absolutely demonstrate the range of genre that Turner encompasses, making them the ideal openers for the show.
Petrie opened the show, serenading the crowd with dulcet folk tones, with a political lilt to her songs reminiscent of the likes of Billy Bragg. She presented the need for folk in the modern age, in a new way, taking the ownership of the genre from the traditional hands of the ageing white man.
The venue swelled as Jimmy Eat World took the stage. The American four piece performed with unrivalled energy, clearly these boys were what a lot of the crowd had come for. Easing the crowd into the show with slower songs such as Hear You Me, Jimmy Eat World lured the crowd into a realm of 2000s nostalgia that, amongst that mass, did not feel so long ago. Even the crowd interaction displayed the longevity of this band, with Adkins pursuing jokes about the popular 1990s video game ‘Mortal Combat’ throughout the show. The energy in the venue shifted as the band moved onto to the more upbeat Bleed American, with the crowd singing lyrics they weren’t even aware that they knew. The set ended, typically, and on an incredibly high note with the timeless The Middle, leaving the audience buzzing with energy, ready for our headliner to take the stage.
In true Frank Turner style, the energy of his set was established immediately as himself and the Sleeping Souls kicked off the set with Out of Breath. The vigour with which Turner tackles each live show is unparalleled, as he and his band, all in matching regalia, leapt around the stage, encouraging the crowd to do the same in turn. No matter the age or gender of the audience members, everyone was dancing, enjoying the show from the offset. Every song further outlined the fact that Turner’s music is made to be played live, each song played bettered the recorded version. The set list spanned equally across each of his albums, meaning no member of the crowd could complain, and that newer songs such as Blackout received the same jubilant reception as the classic likes of Photosynthesis.
The key word to describe Turner’s performance was relentless, keeping the audience on their toes even through the slower, more downbeat songs, of which there were many, which Turner performed acoustically, such as Glorious You and Substitute. Ending on Four Simple Words, Turner proved that he is a testament to the importance of live music in 2019, creating a feeling of togetherness and joy in the turbulent times we live in outlined by his Be More Kind album. With more than 2000 shows under his belt, Turner proved his longevity was well deserved on Saturday night, an act well worth catching as festival season approaches.