Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls – O2 Academy Bristol

  • Date – 27th April 2018

The hardest working man on the UK music scene has returned once again for a mammoth tour. ‘Frank Turner’ is fresh off a mini tour with ‘Mongol Horde’ to promote his newest album, ‘Be More Kind’. The album is out everywhere on Friday May 4th.

The Homeless Gospel Choir

From the words of the solo singer, Derek Zanetti, ‘The Homeless Gospel Choir‘ is not a choir or is he indeed a homeless singer. It is a place where fans of similar music can be who they are and have a good time. That is exactly what happened. Derek included the crowd with conversations away from the microphone and made the venue feel like a small club. His furious acoustic strumming along with thoughtful lyrics was a fantastic way to open the show. Ending his stellar set with ‘Normal’ he was joined by the next support band, ‘Arkells.


Without any room to breathe or recover from Mr. Zanetti, Arkells’ open with ‘Knocking at the Door’. All the way from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada this band brought their A-Game and catchy songs to Bristol. Inviting a member of the crowd up on stage to play guitar on a song made the show even more interesting. The band have a very polished set and stage presence which makes the young band looks very professional. Comp;ete with a killer light show, this is a band who will fit in well to any UK bill.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Opening with a new track from ‘Be More Kind’ the entirety of the O2 Academy were up on their feet and dancing to the catchy ‘1933’. Frank knows how to get the crowd bouncing in the first 30 seconds of his set. Straight into ‘Get Better’ the crowd erupts with choral support. Frank seemed to be having lots of guitar issues throughout the set. His wireless pack was not transmitting from his pedal board. His guitar tech, Cahir, was all over the problems and fixed them as they came up. The O2 was treated to ‘Imperfect Tense’ which had not been performed as a whole band since 2011. The band also played the anti-Trump anthem that is ‘Make America Great Again’ which needless to say went down very well with the Bristol crowd. It is anti trump but it is also about how much Frank loves the USA. Most of his albums have been recorded in the US and ‘Be More Kind’ is no exception. Opening the solo part of the set with ‘There She Is’ we got to hear the softer side of Frank as this song was written for/about his new lady in his life. Back with the Sleeping Souls, ‘Out of Breath’ saw a circle pit which feels wrong at a folk/rock gig but is so right for a ‘Frank Turner’ gig. Frank made his way into the crowd for ‘Four Simple Words’ and finally closed the set with the ‘Songbook’ variant of ‘Polaroid Picture’.

Frank is a very popular musician who draws a crowd and this show was no exception. A sold out venue and a fantastic long set was well needed for a Friday night.






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