Festival Republic Stage
30 August 2015
I never miss a chance to see Frank Turner. He is one of those artists who manage to turn every performance into a unique and memorable event. Whether Frank plays with the sleeping Souls, with his hardcore outfit Mongol Horde, or as was the case on this occasion, he plays solo he always gives it his all.
This year marked Frank’s 9th appearance at Reading festival and then festival republic stage was absolutely crammed for his set. There was also a huge overspill onto the grass areas outside the tent and everyone was there for one reason, a Frank Turner sing-along. They were not to be disappointed.
It is incredible how Turner can engage an audience but there it was again. Just Frank and his acoustic guitar and a packed audience singing along to every song and fixated on his every word. It is clear that Turner loves performing at reading, he is a huge fan of the festival and the Reading crowd love him back.
Turner opened his set with “The Angel Islington” from his new album, Positive Songs For Negative People and finished with a cover of Queens “Somebody To Love”. Between these were were treated to 14 songs drawn from all of Franks albums. We had huge favourites like “The Way I Tend To Be”, “Photosynthesis” and “I Still Believe” interspersed with rarities like “Isabel.” The one thing that every song shared was the fact that the audience knew every word of every song and sang along to every word at the top of their lungs.
My favourite moment was probably “Recovery” from Tape Deck Heart certainly one of my favourite Turner songs. Undoubtably the most moving moment was Frank’s rendition of “Song For Josh” a tribute to a friend who took his own life as a result of depression, something Frank has suffered from himself. It has been very clear throughout Turners career that his songs are deeply personal and this is perhaps the reason that his songs resonate so much with his fans. It is very clear that Frank feels the loss of Josh very deeply and the emotion comes over loud and clear when he performs the song live.
I look forward to seeing Frank take the new songs on the road on his UK tour later this year.