Frank Turner show #1551 – A Night To Remember

“A few precious hours in a space of our own,
And when the band comes on, the only thing I really know:
I want to dance”
(Four Simple Words ~ Frank Turner, 2013)

A blog post about a Frank Turner show? Again?!?! Yeah! Duh! :-) The E-Werk show in Cologne on Sunday has been his show #1551 and I like that this memorable night has such a memorable number. I’m a geek about numbers sometimes.

I honestly hadn’t planned to write a post like this again, because how different from the other concerts I’ve seen him play this year could it have been? And the setlist wasn’t all that different, I give you that. But it still was soooooooooooo much better. And his shows are usually awesome in the first place.
When I started to figure out why I had even more fun at this show as at the ones before my thoughts started wandering a bit about how I experience concerts in general and other rather personal introspective stuff. Which I might try to say in an extra blog post, but not in this one. Let’s just say, the amazing crowd at the E-Werk in Cologne on Sunday was a key element in why I will remember this evening for a long time. And I think the guys on stage will as well, they seemed pretty impressed at least.

I knew Frank would support his support Andrew Jackson Jihad on drums for a bit so I choose a spot where I had a clear view of the drums and I wasn’t disappointed. It was so much fun to watch Frank on the drums. He did a great job (as far as I can tell), but it also was obvious, to me at least, that the place behind the drum kit isn’t his natural habitat. Sometimes it seemed like he really had to concentrate. But all in all, great job and a lot of fun to watch. And he even carried the hi-hat from the stage at the end of the band’s set. He’s the main act and helped his support to take their instruments off stage….

Frank Turner on the drums

From the first chords of the opener “Photosynthesis” the people around me and of course I as well, were dancing and clapping and singing and jumping and just having a damn good time. It was so much fun. Bliss maybe even to be surrounded by so many enthusiastic people who were (going) as crazy as I was myself. In the first half of the show one stupid fan at the front was requesting a special song, which Frank had covered some time ago. Frank managed to shut him up after a while, patiently and still rather politely. Ben, the guitarist, had the right reply for that guy though: “Maybe we need a third rule tonight. Don’t be a cunt!” ;-)

Memorable moments? Besides all the great music they did on stage? Frank and Matt talking in German. Matt learned a new sentence: “Ich bin praktisch perfekt und sehr nützlich” *g* Frank introduced the band in German, but using a wrong preposition, which is easily mixed up when you’re translating from English to German, I think. I thought it was quite adorable. At some point near the end, Frank stated that he was really impressed with this crowd and then there was a discussion on stage, about just taking us all along to all the other concerts which lea to the idea of a cruiseship on which we all could travel together and do these concerts all over again. (Yeah, I guess you had to be there. But it was a riot).

There also were tiny changes in the setlist. Emily Barker joined him for the German version of “Fields of June” already mid-concert and not at the encore. And they did a much better job this time as they did a month ago in Oberhausen. Which they mentioned themselves. Or you could see for yourself here.

At this short solo acoustic set Frank also played “Sailor’s Boots” which in the last few weeks has sort of sneaked up into my favourite Fank songs list and thus I was really excited to hear it that night. It might not be a classic Frank Turner song, but it sounds like a classic folk song and the fact that he managed to write a song so perfectly to make it sound like one, is impressive I think. Anything he does is impressive to me these days. Don’t mind me. I’m still a bit in awe from this show and of course the Saturday talk as well.

He also did another beautiful slow version of “I Will Disappear”, which in this clip gives me goosebumps all over again, just from listening / watching it.

The band came back on stage at the end of the song and they kept rocking it with “The Road” and “If Ever I Stray” and a lot of other songs. The show including the encore lasted almost 2 hours and I usually have rather good sense of how much time has passed at concerts, but I was totally off this time, in good way. I remember thinking, the show must be coming to an end soon, because they had played so many of the big hits or my favourites already and I checked my watch and realized that it was still over an hour to go. Which made me so very happy. Really, such an amazing evening.

Frank added “Love, Ire & Song” at the encore, which also made me incredibly happy, because I love the song and I haven’t heard it live yet. It’s just such a powerful song and so much fun to sing along to. He dedicated it to one diehard fan from Finland who was standing in the front row and obviously had been at a few shows of this tour. And Frank said something like: “Sometimes I’m still baffled that people get on airplanes and trains and cars to come and see me play. Thank you so much.” And I thought: “Well, I went on an airplane in February to see you play the O2. You’re welcome, Frank, it was my pleasure!” *g*
Anyway, hearing and singing this song at the end of this amazing evening was a very special treat and very much appreciated. For me this has been the most memorable concert in a looooooong time. Maybe even ever. And I’m so glad I went to this show even though it was a bit stressful. And even though the next day (full day at work + long politics meeting at night) was incredibly exhausting on less than 5 hours of sleep. I would will do it again in a heartbeat. Before long, I’m afraid :-)

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