Frank Turner @ The Engine Shed

 Photo (This was not taken at the gig): Nicole Kibert /

Since going solo 7 years ago, Frank Turner’s had a pretty exciting ride. He’s toured in countries across the world, played over a thousand shows, and this year – he sold out Wembley. As well as this, he also played a part in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. And now, he’s touring before the release of his fifth studio album next year. TREMORS went along to his sell out gig at the Engine Shed.

 Jim Lockey & the Solemn Sun opened the show, and it wasn’t long before their music created a buzz in the crowd. They’re an alternative folk and rock band from Cheltenham. To start with, it did feel as if the energy and electric atmosphere they were trying to create wasn’t really reaching the audience. But after a couple of songs, the audience loved them. It’s easy to see why, too. Their performance was so full on and powerful and uplifting. It made you want to get up and just dance like no one was watching, and their energy was contagious – once the audience had caught it, there was no going back!

American singer/songwriter Tim Barry graced the stage with his presence next, and his performance was truly wonderful. He was the perfect support act for Frank. He sang songs that told the most beautiful, passion filled stories, and made you feel a connection with him so fast. When he sang, it felt like he’d put every single member of the audience into their own little world. They were completely involved with his performance and the interesting things that he had to tell.

It’s actually the second time Frank Turner has ever gigged in Lincoln. Last time was 2008, and you could tell most of his fans had been waiting a long time his return. Just before he finally appeared on stage, the anticipation was building to extremities in the audience. Several cheers occurred when people mistook the tech crew as Frank, but when he finally appeared, the cheers and roars that erupted were completely deafening. And as he started to sing, silence fell amongst the awing crowd.

He sang lots of his most popular songs, like I Still Believe and Superstition, as well as some older classics like The Road and Romantic Fatigue. But one of the highlights of the show had to have been the songs that Frank sang from his new upcoming album. They sounded fantastic live, and if they sound even half as good on the album, it’s guaranteed that it’s going to be an absolute cracker. It’s obvious that Frank knows how to work the audience, and it’s even more obvious that it’s in the live performance environment that he belongs. He’s been praised for the inclusiveness and friendliness of his gigs, and this was proved entirely here. Everyone was forced to be involved and forced to swallow up the atmosphere, and it’s a technique that works, clearly.

Something really unique about the gig that gave it a really inclusive and unique feel happened about half way through. Frank started telling a story about a dance competition that he was doing with the audiences during the tour, and encouraged to join in, with a potential spot at the top of the leader board up for grabs. This was an excellent idea, it totally encapsulated the crowd and brought together a group of completely random people who’d never previously met, which could technically be argued as one of the main points of a gig – it lets everyone share in the music they love. It got everyone dancing and allowed everyone to get the most out of it!

An encore led him back to the stage, saying he felt like Lincoln deserved a few more songs because he’d not been here in so long. He went on to sing Photosynthesis and then invited Tim Barry back to the stage, where they covered his track,On and On. He hit every note he needed to so well and sounded just as good live as he sounds on his albums – It was almost like watching a music video.  It would be insane if things didn’t continue to get better and better for Frank. He’s a super talented guy with some genuinely incredible songs and he deserves all the success that he gets. If you get the chance, go and see the man because he’s superb!