My “Top11” of Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls Gigs

After the Frank Turner show in Luxembourg three weeks ago I had for half a day thought this had been my 10th Frank Turner show. And I had a blog post with a Top10 ranking all thought out until I remembered that back in March I already had been so happy about my 10th gig being the Royal Albert Hall! Yes, major fail for a list-making, stats-loving fangirl. I have NO idea how I could have miscounted it all in that moment.

For a while I thought making a ranking of 11 shows is kind of stupid, but leaving out just ONE show to make it a Top 10 list felt even more stupid. So the idea was put on a backburner until I thought: Hey, my blog, my list, who cares if it’s 10 or 11. And yes I know if it’s just a complete list of events it’s actually not a “top of anything” list, but I’m too lazy to think of a better blog title at the moment…

I should state that Frank and the band were awesome every evening, so the following rating is based on how I experienced it and how I felt and it’s about the crowd and special moments for me and such.

So here is my (current) “Top 11 list” of Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls shows…

11. Show #1603: GamesCom Festival, Cologne, Germany , 17th August 2014 
GamesCom trade fair comes with this inner city music festival so the majority of the audience at this free show weren’t Frank Turner fans, but just folks who came to the city for the free festival and to party in general. Which made the audience different from other gigs, especially at the middle/back of the crowd where I was. Most of them were at least partially interested and nice about it and they warmed up to his music in the end, but it took a while. “Eulogy” in German always works well to break the ice… (my review).

10. Show #1533: Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany, 20th February 2014
The thing I remember most vividly from that gig, is the couple in front of me who were french kissing after every song. In my line of view! Ugh! They stopped doing it after I rolled my eyes a lot, but it was annoyingly distracting for a long time (my review).

09. Show #1550: LitCologne, Depot 1, Cologne, Germany, 15th March 2014
This event was a bit different, as it was a talk about songwriting with some songs in between. It was entertaining and informative and as a fan of his lyrics I was very happy to be able to hear him talk about it. I just wish the audience could have asked questions as well though. It was a bit weird for the first time to sit on a chair listening to Frank talk or sing and not stand up and sing and dance around. I managed to catch him afterwards for a quick chat and to have something signed, so that was pretty cool (my review).

08. Show #1527: O2 Arena, London, UK, 12th February 2014
I just had to be there, because it was Frank playing to 20.000 people at the freaking O2. And the huge scale of things made it a very cool experience. I do prefer the smaller, more intimate venues though and I hope Frank will keep playing those as well. At least over here in Germany and neighbouring countries, where he isn’t quite as popular yet as in the UK. But I have to say singing along with 20.000 people to the final lines of “Long Live The Queen” almost brought me to tears. I still get goosebumps thinking about it (my review).

07. Show #1447: Aladin, Bremen, Germany, 4th September 2013
This was my first Frank Turner gig and in one word: Wow! I can’t remember having ever been so soaked after a show. I admit it was an incredibly hot day for early September, but still… I was so happy to have made the decision to spend the money to drive up there (+ pay for a hotel room and such), because it was so freaking worth it. I sang and danced and partied and scream my heart out. It was really sooooooooo good! And it defintely would have sucked to only see one gig of that tour, before they left the country after the Cologne gig three weeks later ;-) (my review).

06. Show #1458: E-Werk, Cologne, Germany, 20th September 2013
My 2nd Frank Turner gig :-). And it was just as awesome as the first. I really liked that he had made changes to the setlist or told different stories and thus made it a different experience for everyone involved. Afterwards I spent up to 2 hours, along a bunch of (very much) younger fans to wait for Frank to come out. There was a stupid security guy and I was really glad I had bought a hoodie at the merchandise earlier, because it was freezing. I spent a week home sick with bronchitis afterwards *g*. But hey, we were rewarded with a quick chat with the man himself. It was my first time meeting and hugging him and very much worth it (my review).

05. Show #1551: E-Werk, Cologne, Germany,16th March 2014
I had met Frank after the LitCologne event the night before and just a couple of hours before the show he had replied to a mail I had sent him (regarding something I would have liked to ask if audience at the lyrical discussion had been allowed questions ) so I was still a bit hyped about that and I didn’t feel the need to hang around afterwards again. Plus it was a Sunday evening, so I had to get up the next morning. The show was incredibly awesome! He played “Sailors Boots” which is one of my favourites of the rarer songs and I haven’t seen him play it live since. The crowd was the best I have experienced at a Frank Turner gig so far. Maybe I was just lucky to be at the right space among the crowd. One of the best nights ever (my review).

04. Show #1682: Den Atelier, Luxemburg, 4th June 2015 
This was the first gig I went to with some other fans, who I had got in touch with online before. Which was great. We easily made it to the front row, which was even better and Frank played a few of his new songs, “Get Better”, of course. I guess I will consider any gig where he plays that song a great gig. So…. all of his future ones *g*? We hang around for Frank after the gig as well, but so did 20-30 other fans, which baffled me a bit. It was fun though (my review).

03. Show #1655: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, 29th March 2015
The Royal Albert Hall! That should be reason enough to put this into my Top3. But it also was a really great show, maybe the magnificence of this venue might have rubbed off on them :-) . And the sound inside the Hall is just amazing. Frank and the Souls rocked this venue from the start, Frank was very entertaining and there were so many wonderful, memorable, moments, like “The Ballad of Me And My Friends”. In the “fucking Albert Hall”!! Oh, and I bummed into Frank a few hours before the gig, which was nice pretty awesome as well and might play a part why this gig was so special to me :-) (my review).

02. Show #1584: Fete de la Musique, Dudelange, Luxembourg, 14th June 2014
This was the first time I heard “Get Better”. It is such great and powerful song and a song I needed to hear that night, because a lot of stuff went wrong for me on that day. It was also the first time I managed to be in the front row, which was such a cool experience to be so close up. I took tons of photos, but still managed to soak it all in and enjoy the moment. What a great night (my review)!

01. Show #1652: Cecil Sharp House, London, UK, 26th March 2015 
It might come as a surprise that I chose a Talk / Q&A / solo set as my #1, especially as I missed meeting Frank afterwards, because along half a dozen other fans I was waiting at the wrong spot :-( Regardless of that, it was just such an amazing and unique experience. In a way it was similar to the LitCologne event last year, but in another way, it was very different and just so much better. It was wonderful to hear him tell stories or answer questions and to see that he is a born entertainer, even without a guitar in hand.

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To experience him being the smart and funny and kind and thoughtful, down-to-earth human being that he is, felt like a real privilige. I bet Frank would cringe reading this, but I can’t help it, it just felt pretty awesome. He also played a few songs of course, solo with just his guitar, and even though he always does an solo acoustic part during his concerts, this felt different. More grand in a way, maybe? Because it happened at this folk music institution. Or maybe just because Frank is ace at everything he does. Such a memorable night (my review).

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