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Frank Turner At Amoeba, Wednesday September 16th 2015 Review

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Frank Turner

Frank Turner has started a massive tour, have you seen this thing? From September to March, from the most obscure places in the US (‘We are even going to Boise ID’, he said at Amoeba yesterday night) to about everywhere in Europe. He is promoting his new album, Positive Songs for Negative People (out on XtraMile/Interscope) and he started his tour at Amoeba Hollywood, where he played a fantastic solo mini acoustic set before signing copies of his album for fans.

I was not sure I knew about Frank Turner, but when I heard him singing ‘The Next Storm’, I realized he was a regular artist on my favorite radio station KSCN. But it would not have been a problem if I hadn’t known any of his songs, because he gave one of the most energetic acoustic performance I had ever seen, strumming furiously his guitar, singing and screaming his tunes with a passion that should make many singer songwriters die of jealousy.

The crowd was big and quite young, I even had kids standing on my left, and this little girl – she must have been 9 or 10 – knew all the lyrics of the songs. Funny how certain kids never have a Nickelodeon-Frozen phase and goes straight to the adult stuff! Good for her, she was also asking her mom for some Tenacious D DVDs!

Meanwhile Frank Turner was talking about being jet lagged, and was profusely and euphorically explaining his songs, he seemed to be in very high spirit and was joking around… ‘The tour starts in Pittsburg, but they sent me to LA first’… ‘This song was about being an asshole to my girlfriend, and this is an apology’ he added before singing another song of his new album ‘The Opening Act of Spring’.

But he had started his set with the energizing and propulsive ‘Get Better’, getting the crowd in the mood — he surely was not showing any sign of fatigue for someone who had just flown fro the UK. Most of his songs had a punk intensity with strong and dynamic melodies and when the tunes would turn quieter for a little, they would get the most respectful silence from the crowd. Then, with an almost brutal and aggressive acoustic guitar strumming, contrasting with his friendly English accent, and some intense yelling turning thunderous, he would re-dynamize the crowd the next minute. ‘I am English, it finally happened, I wrote a fucking song about the weather’, he said before ‘The Next Storm’. In a way he made me think about a younger version of Richard Thompson with the punk and the punch of Joe Strummer, someone launching his material on the crowd in the most direct and honest way.

There was something strong happening between this guy and the crowd, he sounded so amicable, like someone who would drink a beer with people after the show – and the way he behave with his fans during the signing after the show completely confirmed this impression, he got to hug everyone  – and at the same time ,he was received like a prophet, although I am not sure of what… there were songs about love and heart affairs but there also was a song about Tennis? ‘Love Forty Down’, and as previously said, a song about the weather, but may be I need to listen to the lyrics a bit more… ‘I feel like this record is my definitive statement, a summation of the first five records,” said Turner in an interview.

‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ is the English singer’s sixth album since he left post-hardcore band Million Dead back in 2005. His tour will include his backing band The Sleeping Souls for the most part (they play at the Mayan on October 22bd in Los Angeles)…. but I can honestly say that there was not one single negative people in the store.

Get Better
Love Forty Down
The Opening Act of Spring
The Next Storm
I Still Believe

Many pictures of the set here

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