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Joshua Beck

Frank Turner
Trades Club gig review

Joshua Beck

In a town nicknamed 'Hippie Village', The Hebden Bridge Trades Club hosted a brilliant night with a performance from Frank Turner, and support by Dan Allen of Ducking Punches.

It was my first time at The Trades and the first time seeing Frank Turner live. In the brilliantly dark and moody venue I was greeted with a sense of familiarity - immediately feeling I've been there before. With pictures of well-known artists in the hallway, you can smell the atmosphere from their nights in the spotlight.

As the crowd grew with anticipation, while some of the lucky ones were catching Frank on his way in (1hr 30 mins late), this intimate room watched the entrance of one of the five Ducking Punches - lead singer Dan Allen.

With a cheeky attitude, the Norwich born lad had a strong stage presence. His story telling lyrics backed with folk acoustic punk made him a strong favourite among a crowd filled with Frank Turner fans. Playing a short set, he entertained the crowd between songs with interesting stories, before dropping into emotionally heartfelt tunes that intrigued from one lyric to the next.

Now the crowd started getting really loud with the arrival of Frank's team to set up the stage. It didn't take long for his face to show and the crowd erupted.

With a joke saying this was his 17,714th show Frank quickly dropped into his first song of twenty two: The Angel Islington. His quirky feel had everybody at a standstill wondering that he was here in a town like Hebden. He made it feel as if we were already at Leeds Festival.



The vibe was strong and hugely positive, everybody had smiles on their faces - even the bar staff. I met a young Canadian hitch hiker who has missed Frank on many occasions (she has been travelling for 2 and a half years) who'd managed to make this gig. Her excitement matched the rest of the room.

Frank was comfortable and jokey on stage. He interacted with the crowd brilliantly which was awesome to watch.

And his performance did not disappoint. After sitting through the first song writing on the table my legs were twitching to push myself to the front. As I'm only 5ft 3 this was easy to do, and before long I was right in the midst of it. Not wasting time between songs Frank jumped right in and before you knew it two, three or maybe even four songs were stormed through until hit The Way I Tend To Be was belted out.

As I was absorbed by the music along with everyone else (honestly, I didn't see one pair of eyes not set on Frank) I was starting to feel seduced. His pitch was spot on - more impressive and incredible live than on the albums, his ever-changing guitars (big up the stage guy) kept in tune; I honestly wanted to, but couldn't spot, one fault that indicated this wasn't anything other than a main show for the singer.

Being an intimate gig I was grouped with four Frank super fans screaming his name louder than he could sing. A little irritating but Frank made sure they knew he could hear them, which was a nice touch from the musician.

Around fifteen songs have been played by now, maybe more, and he took us all by surprise covering Meatloaf's (Yes, Meatloaf) Bat Out Of Hell. With his own tempo and his folk-punk sound, he made it really his own. It was like a new song. I loved it.

Then came his hits, Recovery, The Next Storm (from his new album - great reception), Photosynthesis and I Still Believe.

But that wasn't all...He decided to pleasure us one more time with a brilliant rendition of the classic Queen song - Somebody To Love.

It was a great ending to a great night in a top venue. He may have played 17,714 gigs but Frank Turner plays each one with the passion of his first and with a reception like this one, he'll be playing to capacity crowds for at least a few thousand more.