Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Edinburgh, 3rd December 2016

I’m back from my 48 hours in Edinburgh and after spending a really lazy day to rest my knee, which I fucked up when I slipped on an icy patch here back home, I finally get around to writing the obligatory (for me by now anyway) post about the latest Frank Turner show, I’ve seen. My 2oth! Which still blows my mind a bit. But I’ve written about that more than enough by now.

Show #20 was lots of fun! I met old friends and made new ones and had some lovely chats in the queue before the doors opened. It was a great set, great crowd and there were a few surprises, for me at least anyway. It was quite fascinating to see how the set has changed over the span of a year from the first show I’ve seen in  January. They’ve started with yet another new opening this time – “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” with just Frank for the first verse and the Souls join him on stage later during the song.

I won’t recap the whole set now though, it’s up on setlist.fm, if anyone is interested. I liked the selection of songs, even though I could have done without “Demons” and I’m always going to miss “Josephine” when they don’t play it. To me it felt like he played more songs on electric guitar than he did earlier this year, but maybe that’s just my impression. He used a sleek black/brown one at the end of the show, which looked unfamiliar to me and I know it’s quite nerd-y to even pay attention to things like that. Even more so as I don’t play guitar myself and I don’t know anything about it. I can tell an acoustic from an electric, but that’s just about it, I think.

By the way, that’s the only decent photo I took all night. With my phone to boot. I have no idea when my small camera stopped taking decent pictures at rock concerts. As you can see, I had a great spot, right at the barrier, directly in front of Frank. After the Bremen gig I had thought I’d never again do that, but it was fun in Edinburgh and the crowd was going wild behind me, but not too crazy, so the space at the barrier was fine.

Frank was in a pretty good mood (but isn’t he always up on stage?) and chatty as usual. He talked about the times when he played in Edinburgh previously, back in the Million Dead years. About DJ-ing the night before in Aberdeen and how hungover he still felt. For the crowd surf he brought up a pal from Scotland, who did a great job with high-fiving three different people in the audience. Team Tarrant won again. Yes :-)

During the acoustic set he did “Glorious You” which is always quite beautiful stripped down to the acoustic version and in memory of the times he played in Edinburgh with Million Dead he also played “Smiling at Strangers On The Train” (as a request, I think?) which was lovely. I really like that song and haven’t heard it live before.  Never thought to request it either though…

I also loved the shout-out to “Safe Gigs For Women” and cheered really loud to show my support, because I think it’s a very important issue. I was lucky enough to not really have been harassed or worse at any show, but I know these things happen and it’s horrible. And I’m kind of proud that Frank takes such a vocal stand on that. Here is a clip of it from another show on this tour…

Even though I had seen some photos and clips of the current tour online I hadn’t really realized that the “Four Simple Words” finale is a bit different these days. I like it, no doubt, but I was thrown off for a moment, when the last notes of “Get Better” lead into the fast part of “Four Simple Words”. When he started singing the 2nd verse, still strumming on his guitar on stage, I thought “Has he given up on the crowd surf? Oh no!” But of course he hasn’t. He just now does it later in the song, gets down somewhere in the middle of the room and instead of serenading Tarrant on stage he does that to a female (I think *g*) fan there in the crowd. Then he lets himself be hoisted up again and crowdsurfs back to the stage to end the song. Pretty crazy, but also pretty cool!

The best for last: He did “Substitute” as first encore, which was amazing, because it was one of the songs I mailed him about, so I just claim he played it especially for me  that night ;-) Either way it was lovely to hear it on my anniversary show. Thank you so much, Frank!

I would have loved to give the man a Thank You hug afterwards, but that didn’t work out this time, as Frank was too knackered to hang out afterwards and he got his well deserved rest instead. There will always be a next time for a hug, I’m sure.

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