FOLK, INDIE, PUNK AND FRANK TURNER BRINGS THE HOUSE DOWN
MANCHESTER O2 APOLLO 21ST AUGUST 2021
Arriving early at the O2 Apollo, for Frank Turner’s “The Gathering” and it was already pretty packed out; the appetite for live music since the pandemic seems to be in high demand, which is great to see. I didn’t catch the first two bands, my apologies to Guise and Ducking Punches.
First up tonight for me were scathing, alternative, no-nonsense post-punk duo Deux Furieuses who are signed to the excellent Xtra Mile Recordings. From the off, I could see why it would be easy to compare Deux Furieuses to Savages, PJ Harvey or even Slaves. But that was not the case for me; Deux are very much travelling their own road. Deux Furieuses are loud – amazingly so for a duo, and they are angry. But they somehow manage to direct that punk anger into songs with a pop-tinged feel, almost reminding me of The Cranberries at times, but much bleaker. They have a very political edge and conscience; feminism, government, indoctrination, rape, religion are all covered. There’s power in their emotive lyrics, tied together with punchy unforgettable choruses. Powerful stuff indeed.
Next up were Pet Needs another band signed to Xtra Mile recordings and they went off at 100 miles an hour from start to finish, and I think lead singer Johnny Marriott covered every inch of the stage, full of irrepressible energy that he must have stored up since the beginning of the pandemic.
Pet Needs brought a blend of piledriving indie hardcore and post-punk-rock to the stage. Think The Clash, The Sex Pistols and Enter Shikari. Their set was explosive, full of energy, catchy songs and release of pent-up frustrations, a barrage of screeching guitars and frantic vocals.
The man of the moment was up next, the folk punk troubadour, Frank Turner with his Sleeping Souls. Walking on to the stage to the sound bite of Oh Danny Boy sang by the Muppets, the capacity crowd erupted, as the band launched into “Get Better” and the hairs on the back of my neck told me that it was going to be a very special night.
The set had 3 distinct sections, full band, acoustic set and the a kick arse encore, finishing with the amazing “Four Simple Words” Frank Turner knew what his fans were here to see and hear and he didn’t disappoint for one second. He fed off the energy that the crowd created, and the crowd buzzed of the energy he created, and it was amazing to be in the thick of it.
His ability to write great songs with big punchy stadium-sized sing-along choruses is a true talent and judging by the euphoric response tonight from the thousands in the room this evening, he has found a formula that works.
I have to be honest and say I was not very familiar with Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls until the last few days, but now I am a big fan. They are one of the best live acts I have seen, and I can’t wait to see them again. In the meantime, it’s time to buy some records so I can sing along with everyone else.
FRANK TURNER SET LIST
IF I EVER STRAY
PLAIN SAILING WEATHER
I AM DISAPPEARED
OUT OF BREATH
THERE SHE IS
BE MORE KIND
I KNEW PRUFROCK BEFORE HE GOT FAMOUS
THE NEXT STORM
TRY THIS AT HOME
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN
THE BALLAD OF ME AND MY FRIENDS
I STILL BELIEVE
FOUR SIMPLE WORDS
FOLLOW FRANK TURNER
FOLLOW PET NEEDS
FOLLOW DEUX FURIEUSES
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.