The next time someone tells me “punk is dead,” I’m gonna’ give ‘em my crazy eyes, flash ‘em a pair of birds and tell ‘em, “I’ll see you at the next Frank Turner show” as I walk away. Punk didn’t die, it evolved; it virally infiltrated genres that were least expecting it and continues to thrive inside of them. Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls (self-proclaimed English folk-punkers) are living proof of this fact and earn this week’s title of “Artist of the Week.”
Earlier this month, I watched as Turner and his Souls unleashed one hell of a show upon a sold-out New York crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (my first Turner show as an assumed “big fan”). When I eventually figured out I was the only crowd member with an American accent, I knew I had gotten myself into something bigger than I originally thought. Turner and his band have not only been playing together for a long time, which he mentioned mid-concert, but they have never really stopped touring over the years. Their energy, chemistry, crowd control, seamless set and his stage presence were indescribable…seriously, I don’t even know where to begin. Who’d have figured one of the most lively and fun mosh pits I’ve experienced would be at a British folk show?
The band’s fifth studio album and most recent release, “Tape Deck Heart,” is very strong and has more than just a couple of hits up its sleeve. However, in Turner’s opening speech he mentioned, “I hate it when I go see a band and they only play crap off their new album. Anyone mind if I play some old ones too?” The crowd lost it. He went on later to ask, “Anyone attending tomorrow night’s show as well? [crowd loses it again]. Good, I have an entirely different set planned for you.” The kid next to me, who knew every lyric to every song, said he was on his 11th Frank Turner show. Impressed, I nodded as if it were my 5th.
I walked out of the show feeling like I just joined a family that I will see again in a year or so (hopefully still for an affordable price). Frank Turner’s fan-base alone should be enough to convince anyone that he’s here to stay, but what you can’t really understand until you see him live, is that the man is going to be a legend. If you have a hankering for a rowdy show and some incredible music, find your way to Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls’ next gig.
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Article by Mark Ayesh