Frank Turner | © Samantha Guess | For FOTF Magazine

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls perform to a sold out Victoria Warehouse.

in Live

Frank Turner and US pals, Jimmy Eat World, play to a sold out Victoria Warehouse.

Jimmy Eat World and Frank Turner are two names I didn’t think I’d see on a bill together. I done know why, but something about that jarred for me.

Stylistically, there have been pairings that are much less similar than Jimmy and Frank Turner, but having grown up with Jimmy in the ‘emo’ publications, and Frank nowhere near those types of publication (from what I saw, I could well be wrong), the line-up had a me a little stumped! Nevertheless, that was the show!

I have always wanted to see Jimmy live; I caught them at Slam Dunk last year, but due to the atrocious sound of the Leeds site, caused by poor acoustics of main stage area (it’s changing this year, thank the pop-punk Gods), I bowed out 2 songs in and caught As It Is headlining a smaller stage instead. So, when this opportunity came up, I was certainly taking it. As for Frank Turner, I have been surrounded by his music, but never really got into him myself. And judging by the crowd, I think it wouldn’t be unfair to say that a number of audience members were there solely for Jimmy too.

I managed to get into the pit just in time for Jimmy; a larger than normal support setlist, and a large Frank setlist, meant their stage time was earlier than expected. The four-piece kicked off with Futures track ‘Pain’, Chase This Lighttrack ‘Let It Happen’, and then back to Futuresfor ‘Work’. The majority of the setlist consisted of Jimmy’s older work, such as Bleed American’s ‘Hear Your Me’ and ‘A Praise Chorus’, with Jimmy’s staple tracks ‘Bleed American’, ‘Sweetness’ and ‘The Middle’ closing the set. For me, Jimmy are a band who produced music which seemed to perfectly reflect my life at the time of its release. To some, Jimmy haven’t been the most exciting of bands to watch, but for others, including myself and my best friend who came along with me, they represent our teenage years. To see this live was wonderful, but I can understand those that maybe didn’t get the ‘hype’. They are about the music, and that’s it. No big production tricks, just music.

After closing off with a very well received performance of ‘The Middle’, Jimmy gave way to Frank Turner and his Sleeping Souls. Frank stormed through 24 songs, covering old material such as The Real Damage track ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’ to newer tracks from the latest album Be More Kind. A notable moment came when Benny, notorious for creating a Youtube dance tutorial for Turner’s track ‘Little Changes’, joined Turner on stage and performed the dance live. 

Having just explained the connection to Jimmy that won’t be understood by others, I think the same could be said for Frank Turner, and I’m on the outside with that one. As dynamic as he and the band were, to me it was 24 samey songs, performed by someone holding a guitar (and I’m sure the same could be said for a lot of artists that I rank highly). I just don’t get it. I know a lot of emphasis falls on his lyrics, but they aren’t the easiest to listen to live (which can be said of most live performances). I would never like to take away from those that do connect with his music, and I personally know plenty of people who do, I just don’t think it’s for me. 

All in all, solid performances were given by both bands. Jimmy were certainly my highlight. With regards to Frank Turner, when I am not personally connected to an artist I am reviewing, a good judge is the general atmosphere of the crowd, and thatcould definitely not be faulted. Whatever he was doing was going down well with the audience, including some of my friends, and after all, that connection is what music is all about. 

Based in Central Manchester, but frequently found in other parts of the country in the name of live music. Otherwise, I am a departmental manager for a software company.

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