Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls // Pet Needs // Live Review // Belfast
Nothing livens up a gorgeous, spring evening in Belfast than a collection of gigs throughout the city. But tonight, we were treated to the long-awaited return from the rowdy fella himself, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls.
Kicking off the night were Essex boys, Pet Needs, and the lads just exploded onto the stage like they were the headline act! How lead vocalist Johnny Marriott had all that energy, I have no idea, but he had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. Both a tight and energetic performance from the boys… but this energy was just a taster for what was to come.
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Six years, the good people of Northern Ireland have waited on Frank’s return (though the last 2 years don’t count according to him). The second the Sleeping Souls stepped out on stage, my word! The Limelight 1 erupted to see their hero return, as he and the Sleeping Souls wasted no time in keeping the energy going for the next 2 hours.
The latest album ‘FTHC’ played a heavy focus throughout the night, with tracks like ‘Punches’ and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ receiving an overwhelming response. While classics such as ‘Photosynthesis,’ ‘The Path’ and ‘The Ballad,’ where I am sure many of vocal cords are feeling it the next day. To make the night just that little bit more special, Frank turned his attention to drummer Callum Green, who not only was on his first world tour but his first time in Ireland.
Frank made sure to ride the line between providing banter and conveying serious messages. From the constant show of appreciation to his hard-working crew, to singing songs about mental health while telling the crowd “it’s okay.” But when it came to playing ‘Miranda,’ a song that talks about his relationship with his father who is now a transgender woman. This was when you heard a crack in Frank’s voice, as he poured all his emotions into this song.
It was safe to say that this gig was six years in the making, and what a way to kick start the Irish leg of this tour! The energy connection between both bands and the crowd was indescribable. Let’s just hope it’s not too long until Frank and the boys bring another round of rowdiness to these shores.