At one point during last night’s sold out gig at Edinburgh’s Picture House Frank Turner told how earlier in the week he had received an email from a fan outlining the history of the venue and how acts such as Queen, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and The Smiths had played there. While the English folk-rock singer isn’t quite in the bracket of those icons he demonstrated here why he could be considered as one of the voices of his generation.
With an adoring audience of 1500 eagerly reciting every word from opener I Am Disappeared all the way through to Dan’s Song it was clear that Frank Turner writes songs that mean a lot to a lot of people.
This was a gig of punchy pop hooks and passionate choruses where every song seemed to be a favourite to someone. Recent album England Keep My Bones was particularly heavily featured and songs like Peggy Sang The Blues, If I Ever Stray, I Still Believe and particularly Wessex Boy were met with enthusiastic acclaim, while earlier tracks such as Substitute, Photosynthesis and Reasons Not To Be An Idiot display a talent which arguably sets Turner aside as the finest British songwriter since Noel Gallagher, only without the arrogant and annoying brother.
There was a great spirit inside the Picture House as the values of friendship and togetherness were exalted in one of the best atmospheres you could experience at a gig. It might well be that rock and roll saves us after all.