Awash in an ethereal blue light, the crowd at Bath Pavilion waited, simmering with anticipation, for Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls to take the stage. And as the curly headed figure stepped out from the fog, the gig goers burst into shouts and applause that could not be dampened for the following two hours.
Turner knows how to deliver a show. The nearly two hour set covered a range of his best songs, from I Still Believe to Recovery, he gave each song his all. This show demonstrated the dedication of his fans; the rhythmic clapping of Glory Hallelujah, usually lead by a band member mid way through, was instead lead by the crowd, bringing a bashful grin to Turner’s face. The softest, most moving of moments came in surprising ways – in new numbers like Mittens, in Turner’s powerfully sung nostalgic laments.
Turner isn’t a one-man band; The Sleeping Souls add a depth to his sound and stage presence, to his frenetic punk melancholy, they also add a light heartedness. Before Turner launched into another new song, Get Better, he gives them credit where it’s due for helping him through the year.
Winding through old classics like Back in the Day to newer releases like Four Simple Words, it’s clear that Turner throws his entire heart and soul into every second he is on stage, and the audience throws it back in their unending sing-along. He is more than a musician; he is a performer, an entertainer, a beacon, and he leads us all in an unending dance celebrating the pain and beauty that is life.