Date: 24th August 2019
Venue: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
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As I entered Brudenell Social Club on a warm Saturday afternoon, there was a real air of anticipation and excitement to see Frank Turner play in such an intimate venue. After seeing him play at the First Direct Arena earlier this year, this made for a complete change in atmosphere but still kept to the true way of playing a huge amount of tracks from all eras of his music. He started out with a few new tracks from his recently released album which were amazing to hear live and really worked nicely to explain the meaning behind the tracks and little bits of information as he went through them. Starting off with the first track on the album ‘Jinny Bingham’s Ghost’ Frank had the entire crowd captivated by his performance from the very beginning. As he worked through his other new songs it was great to get his side notes such as the riff from ‘I Believed You, William Blake’ being written while he was still writing songs with Million Dead or the fact that he got approval from a living relative of Egyptian feminist and rebel Huda Sha’awari who was the subject of ‘The Lioness’. As he worked through the new songs it was clear he was passionate about telling the stories from those people that history missed out on and it was done in a very impressive way. The highlight from this first part of the set was definitely hearing him play ‘Sister Rosetta’ live, as my personal favourite song off the new album it made a nice end to the tracks from ‘No Man’s Land’.
After getting a great reception to the newer tracks Frank took the opportunity to head back in time playing some of his bigger hits starting with tracks from ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’ and going all the way back to 2006’s ‘Campfire Punkrock’. As Frank worked through the tracks it was clear just how dedicated his fans were as everyone in attendance was singing the words back. From shouts of “We can get better, cause I’m Not Dead Yet” to ‘Get Better’ to the catchy chorus of ‘Recovery’. As ‘The Road’ got people dancing all across the room and by the time ‘Photosynthesis’ came to an end the entire room was bouncing along very much sticking to the words of the chorus “…I won’t to grow up” which is certainly a great life motto to follow. It was a nice touch for Frank to give a shoutout to the Brudenell Social Club and he revealed that when playing there in 2008 was his first ever sold out show in Leeds as well as talking about the smaller venues like The Fenton which is great for supporting newer upcoming bands was here before launching into final song – ‘Ballad of me and my friends’. As final songs go this was certainly ideal for this as it really showed the sense of community and togetherness that come with supporting an artist like Frank Turner.
As Show #2387 drew to an end it was clear that the respect and love in the room was two way and that this was a show of appreciation from both sides. Having sold out his original show and the early show being added as an extra Frank made sure that he changed the setlist up between shows so that if people were at both then they would get two slightly different experiences which was a fantastic idea. Huge thanks go out to both Crash Records and the Brudenell Social Club for putting on such a fantastic event and really building that connection between not only the fans and the artists but also the music scene as a whole and it really is a great asset for Leeds. Having had the experience to attend three Crash Records exclusive shows now, they really are a completely different experience from regular shows and have always been great. A true gem of a record store and one that should definitely be treasured and supported for years to come!