I think Frank Turner might just be this country’s best kept musical secret. Certainly his wasn’t a name I knew 12 months ago, although that probably doesn’t mean much. Regardless, Turner’s star is definitely on the rise – his latest album, England Keep My Bones, just missed out on the top ten, and he even got a play on daytime Radio 1 last week – and that “best kept secret” tag may not last much longer.
Friday’s show at the Barras was my first time in his company, and was probably the best show I’ve seen all year. I might not have known all the words (I’m still playing catchup on his back catalogue), but plenty of other folk did, creating an incredible atmosphere that was easy to get lost in. And the songs I did know – the newer ones, plus oldies like I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous, Long Live the Queen and Photosynthesis – I belted out with the best of them.
There was even a Queen cover (Somebody to Love) and some ticker tape – what more could you ask for?
The only downer on the evening was that my mate Lis had to drop out at the last minute. I did, however, bump into a load of her mates, including Dave Hughes, who’ll be back in Glasgow later this week, playing at the Old Hairdressers along with Franz Nicolay and Chris T-T. (Tickets still available, and only 7 quid – go on, you know you want to…)
I’ve seen a few people comment that Frank’s shows aren’t the same as once they were – now that he’s playing bigger rooms, and less of his old songs, it’s not as good. Obviously I can’t say if that’s the case or not, but if it is then I’ve really missed out. Not a lot I can do about it, though, except wait impatiently for next time.
Who knows, I might even know all the words by then!