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Frank Turner Live(Stream) Review

Frank Turner may be the nicest man alive. Any other artist in the position of having to cancel the rest of their live shows would issue an apology and be done with it. Head into their homes, crack open a bottle of wine and start writing up the next feeble album. But not Turner, whose consistency as a musician is matched only by the ethics of the person behind his sauntering, well versed songs. A newcomer to his work, I steered my way through his discography as fast as I could in preparation for his live show, which he streamed last night alongside a fundraiser to help out those in need.

A few audio issues can be completely forgiven for a set that takes place in Jess and Frank’s living room. Jess Guise opens up the set, explaining her songs as she goes. An all acoustic opening provides us with some great songs and a truly talented songwriter with an incredible voice. I’m a sucker for acoustic music, but Guise’s work in the opening parts of the show are truly resounding. Micah Schnabel follows up with some great songs also, blending a rough, refreshing voice with tunes that speak of revolution and a shakeup of the system. Schnabel presents some powerful acoustic punk, well worth the listen, and this stream provided the perfect introduction to his excellent songwriting abilities.

Turner’s performance is frankly perfect. His vocal strengths uplifted in this acoustic set, and for those that have seen him live already, it should be no surprise that the renditions of his songs here are absolutely masterful. Long Live the Queen in particular sticks out as a truly phenomenal piece. The Lioness highlights not only the vocal range Turner has to offer those interested in his work, but also shows us how adaptable his performances are. Even when separated by a screen, Turner is still as energetic and upbeat as the recordings of his other live shows. He manages to involve his audience, and although he doesn’t have any prompts or notions of what his 11,000 strong viewing base are expecting, wheeling out obscure B-Sides like Bar Staff and giving us a broadly brilliant and lengthy set is certainly what I’d have expected.

Thousands jumped into the stream; a real sense of community came about from listening to these songs alongside a live audience. It’s an experience like no other, the comfort of your own home but with the glimmers of a concert atmosphere. With the group of performers giving us a cosy ambience, it feels more like you’re over at a friend’s house and someone has busted out the guitar. But instead of strumming the first few chords of Wonderwall, they’ve actually assembled an incredible setlist that highlights artists well worth listening to. A selection of the nicest musicians alive serenade us with acoustic accompaniment. There’s just nothing better than that. Stay soft. Stay brave. Seems like quite the solid advice right now. Turner and company provide a truly superb showcase of all your favourite hits of his.

I’ve now been to two concerts. This counts as a concert, right? It certainly ran like a concert. Incredible performances all round, opening acts and all the riotous brilliance you’d expect from even the most energetic of live shows. With the show being there to support musicians and artists Frank is associated with, it’s only right that I put a link you can donate a couple of quid to.

Show No. 2473. Quite an impressive feat for any musician to perform that many shows.

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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