The line up: Frank Turner with Micah Schnabel and Jessica Guise – Live @ BRIGHTON DOME 04.03.20
Francis Edward “Frank” Turner is an English punk and folk singer-songwriter from Meonstoke, Hampshire. He began his career as the vocalist of post-hardcore band Million Dead, then embarked upon a primarily acoustic-based solo career following the band’s split in 2005. In the studio and during live performances, Turner is accompanied by his backing band, The Sleeping Souls. To date, Turner has released eight solo albums, three rarities compilation albums, one split album and five EPs. Turner’s eighth studio album, No Man’s Land, was released on 16 August 2019. No band with him tonight, the spotlight was on him and him alone.
“Welcome to show 2,463!” Frank Turner has played a lot of gigs.
The Dome in Brighton hosted this extraordinary unplugged show from the English singer-songwriter Frank Turner. This was, as I understand as I hadn’t seen him with his full band, a departure from his high levels of adrenaline gigs. This was going to be a stripped back affair. It promised to offer up an intimate set, as intimate as you can get with a solid Dome crowd. We also had some background to some of the songs and how they got written, and some at times moving or humourous stories from his life.
The evening got underway with a genuine apology for not being back to Brighton for a few years. That went down well with the crowd as it was met with a huge cheer welcoming him back.
Frank Turner The Set
So the introductions over and Frank strapped on his guitar for the first time, there was a lot of guitar changes through out the set. The Ballad of Me and My Friends, I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous and Long Live The Queen got things nicely underway. Mr Turner likes to chat. It was really good to hear him open up and talk about things he clearly champions and supports.
Turner explained that for this tour his friends from @allycoalition helped to find local groups and charities to represent at the shows. Brighton tonight @allsortsyouth Allsorts provide non-judgemental spaces for children and young people to feel heard, valued and safe in Brighton. Horsham, Chichester and Worthing! They also provide support groups for both parents and their kids. Nice one Mr Turner.
The Road, Peggy Sang the Blues – this one had the crowd stomping along, fabulous live track, If Ever I Stray, The Way I Tend to Be, The Next Storm, Love Forty Down and 1933 where delivered to the Turner composition lovers. Some of these songs also sounded really emotional live.
Be More Kind, saw the Dome audience light the space with their cell phones and also, something I have not seen for a while, “proper” lighters were held up high. It was really rather stunning to see. You could clearly see Frank Turner smiling as he caught sight of the crowd led spectacle.
The wonderful Be More Kind was up. A delightful song. Jinny Bingham’s Ghost, The Lioness, The Work, Get Better again interspersed with some chat, were all delivered totally on point. This guy was pouring it on tonight. He worked so hard on this performance and it was sheer class. He seemed to announce that he has got to a point in his life and he is happy, he now has a wife Jessica Guise who opened up the evening.
“Be more Kind to each other, help each other”
Recovery, I Still Believe saw the end of the set, well almost… Frank vanished to the side of the stage as the crowd cheered for him to return. Thankfully he did with a couple of favourites Photosynthesis and Polaroid Picture.
An evening with Frank Turner turned out to be rather good. Lets just hope he comes back soon with the full band.
The middle slot tonight was filled with an appearance from Micah Schnabel. He delivered a 40 minute set of catchy songs, spoken word and poetry. The variety of his performance caught some of us off guard. This was different, and totally fitted in the with the night as a whole.
How To Ride A Bike, Gentle Always – “What’s the harm in being decent while we’re alive?”, A Celebration, Death Defying Feats, Filthy Cash, Let The Boys Be Girls, Memory Currency, Emergency Room, Jazz and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, The Interview, Remain Silent, and Your New Norman Rockwell were all squeezed effortlessly into his slot on the Dome stage. A marvellous display crossing so many skill sets. All the while some fine humour as songs or spoken word segments filled in the venue. Nobody moved. We all stayed and listened to what this extraordinary performer had to say to us.
Remain Silent is really a lyrically powerful song, as is the quite brilliant Filthy Cash. He masterfully played his acoustic for the songs he performed. He is at times almost provocative and pretty much always evocative. You really cannot avoid the message content of his songs. A stunning set from Micah.
I had gone along tonight to catch Guise live on the launch of their new EP – The Fun Part. Some confusing media postings around but what we had was the divine band vocalist Jessica Guise on her own! Now, I have said it before I always have a strong sense of admiration for anyone who walks out – solo – onto that stage armed only with a guitar and a glass of water. Jess walked out confidently and gave us a warm “Good Evening Brighton”
Writing and playing songs live since her teens, Jessica has honed her craft as an artist who sings with delicacy, whilst imparting vicious asides when you least suspect. Vocal flutters conceal stinging ripostes, with hers a style that is by turns sweet and haunting.
She told us that she was a lucky girl and that her husband would be along in a short while (Frank Turner). This was a short little set, almost an introduction set. But boy did Jessica fill it with warmth and personality and some darn good tunes. The EP was due to go on release a couple of days after this gig and so we were lucky to get a copy early. She opened up her set with the quite sublime The Fun Part, it was this song and video that hit the sweet spot for me. Its a look at the darker side of the dating game and possible future relationships. The Countdown was followed with a couple of tracks of the stunning debut EP with Too Far Gone and Surprise. It was a treat to just hear the songs stripped back to a guitar and vocals presentation. I watched her as she played and plucked her guitar for Surprise. Her vocals soared up high and the sound was really something special as the words reverberated around the Dome.
Her delightful set concluded with Brother In Arms. This was special and the song clearly meant a lot to Jessica. You could of heard a pin drop as the crowd were transfixed to the spot for the entire set, but Jessica was superb in the delivery of this one. Her voice will pull you in, you cant help it, and the craftsmanship of the lyrics and song writing will grab your attention 100%. The swirling voice and, the at times, bittersweet lyrics will massage your ears and take you away.
I loved that set. I managed a chat before her husband took to the stage for his performance. A signed CD safely packed away – its on repeat as I write this. I am a hardened rock and roll music lover, but this CD is music to my ears. Thank you Jessica. I really now want to see the full band and hear those songs again live.
After her set she had time to chat, pose for some selfies and share laughs with fans and people who had enjoyed her music. She did admit, with a laugh, to liking a chat. Well played Jessica, so refreshing to see an artist really mingling and mixing it up. It was a busy merch stand and I saw a few purchases made of the CD. She really seemed to have enjoyed the whole experience, just as we had. Watch out for these guys Guise. Guise On Tour is on my list.
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