After surpassing the 2,000 mark of live shows in an impressively short amount of time you’d be forgiven to think that folk-punk journeyman, Frank Turner would be ready to sit back a little bit to catch his breath.
Fortunately for his fans this is certainly not the case as he was handed the keys to the infamous Camden, Roundhouse and teamed up with Onefest to create a four day festival to celebrate live music named ‘Lost Evenings’.
Throughout the weekend there was a whole host of talent on show as Frank gave many bands/artists the platform to showcase their talents in front of a new audience, in addition to this, workshops and panels were organised to give guidance to the next generation looking to break their way into the music industry.
Frank and his band, The Sleeping Souls headlined each of the four nights with various themes chosen to keep things fresh with the final night’s theme aptly being a greatest hits set as well as a tribute to his record label, Xtra Mile Recordings and their seemingly never ending endeavor to introduce the world to new and exciting music.
It was British folk singer, Will Varley who kicked things off with his charming grass roots brand of folk story telling combined with his political commentary. Varley does have some comedy elements to his songwriting but that’s not on show tonight as he chose to play his socially and politically charged songs ‘We Don’t Believe You’ and ‘King For A King’ as well as playing ‘From Halcyon’ which was requested by the man himself (Frank).
Varley’s set was short but sweet and it wasn’t long before the energy in the Roundhouse is turned up a notch as label mates, Skinny Lister brought their sea shanty shenanigans to the stage.
The high spirited sextet were relentless in the quest to turn up the tempo with their brand of high octane folk punk with ‘Wanted’, ‘Trouble On Oxford Street’ and ‘This Is War’ keeping everyone dancing without a care. A huge roar of unison accompanied the sea shanty ‘John Kanaka’ and then closing out their set with the delightfully up beat ‘Hamburg Drunk’.
As Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls take the stage for their final performance of the festival there was a spark ignited as the crowd’s energy was boundless as they tore through a set that included the self assuring anthem ‘Get Better’, the bombastic ‘Glorious You’ and the tongue in cheek ‘Demons’.
Sticking to the greatest hits theme, old favourites such as ‘Recovery’, ‘If Ever I Stray’ and ‘The Road’ were greeted with an enthusiastic energy that show the crowd still love the oldies but goodies, even if they are hearing them for the second time in the space of a weekend.
There were a couple of hidden gems thrown into the mix as songs that don’t always make their way into the set were given an airing, ‘One Foot Before The Other’, ‘The Journey Of The Magi’ and ‘Rivers’ gave the fans a feeling of nostalgia from albums gone by.
As the band returned to the stage for an encore, a humbled Turner gave a speech on how honoured he felt to be able to create a festival centered around himself and his band but never to self indulge he tipped his hat to the crew, organisers and artists for their part in the making of this festival before leading into a once forgotten song, ‘Love, Ire & Song’.
Always one to leave a gig on a high note the band lead the crowd into a frenzied state as they dance around and sing their lungs out to ‘I Still Believe’ before finishing off with the raucous ‘Four Simple Words’ that resulted in Frank crowd surfing across the room, forever accessible to his fans!
The community feel that’s ever present at a Frank Turner gig was felt ten fold as you could see that the crowd were together as one, enjoying every moment with their friends – old and new. The festival was sold out on every day/night and that’s an indication of the dedication the fans have for this band and although this was the show that marked the end of the festival, you could feel that it was actually just a new beginning.