Live review: Frank Turner at the O2 Academy, Sheffield, 19.11.

 Frank Turner's album  Positive Songs for Negative People  came out earlier this year.

Frank Turner's album Positive Songs for Negative People came out earlier this year.


Playing to a sold-out crowd in Sheffield, Skinny Lister, an upbeat folk band from London, were primed to rouse the emotions of the audience, after Will Varley opened up the night's proceedings. And that they did with energy and enthusiasm aplomb. Songs such as 'Rollin' Over' and 'Trouble on Oxford Street' did much to get the Sheffield crowd jumping, singing, ready for the headline act.

Don't get me wrong, Skinny Lister were good, but it was all about Frank Turner. The man has risen in the past decade to gain a huge following, with sixth album Positive Songs for Negative People coming out in August this year. We were treated to songs from across all six albums, starting with 'Eulogy', followed by one of the new singles, 'The Next Storm'. Throughout the whole night, from my position in the heart of the audience, the entire crowd screamed and shouted every single word back to an animated Frank Turner and his band, the Sleeping Souls. Halfway through, the Sleeping Souls exited the stage for a solo Frank moment, where he ran through 'The Ballad of Me and my Friends', 'The Way I Tend to Be', and 'St. Christopher Is Coming Home', dedicated to Nick Alexander, who died at the Bataclan theatre in the Paris attacks last week.

With the Sleeping Souls back on stage, 'Photosynthesis' ordered everyone sitting on the ground to jump up - a classic. Before the encore, another off the new album, 'Get Better', incited a punky reception, with its Springsteen-meets-'70s-punk vibe. The encore, including a personal treat 'I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous', was finished off with the wonderful crowd pleaser 'Four Simple Words'. The best way to get people dancing at a gig, apparently, is to literally tell them to.

Turner was a monumental success. Not only did he play nearly thirty songs, he played them with everything you would want in a concert: energy, passion and talent. It's a testament to the Sleeping Souls too, of course, a selection of some of the UK's finest musicians. It was a rock show, it was simple, but that's all that's really needed. Well played, Frank.


1. Eulogy
2. The Next Storm
3. Try This at Home
4. One Foot Before the Other
5. Out of Breath
6. The Road
7. Peggy Sang the Blues
8. Losing Days
9. Josephine
10. Polaroid Picture
11. Long Live the Queen
12. The Opening Act of Spring
13. The Ballad of Me and My Friends
14. The Way I Tend to Be
15. St. Christopher Is Coming Home
16. Wessex Boy
17. Photosynthesis
18. If Ever I Stray
19. Glory Hallelujah
20. Reasons Not to Be an Idiot
21. Mittens
22. Recovery
23. Plain Sailing Weather
24. Get Better
25. Song for Josh
26. I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
27. I Still Believe
28. Four Simple Words