Frank Turner is completing an intimate eight-date album launch tour of venues linked with independent record stores across the UK. Today’s show was held at The Old Fire Station in Bournemouth, in partnership with Vinilo Record Store. Due to the huge demand for tickets, there are two shows per day at many venues on this tour.
‘FTHC’ is Frank’s ninth studio album – released on 11th Feb 2022 it went on to be his first-ever UK No.1. His latest work is a return to a familiar autobiographical, confessional style of writing, resulting in a direct, intense and very ’punk’ record. There are a number of very open and personal tracks on the album and we are treated to many of these at tonight’s show.
Frank (on acoustic guitar) is joined on this tour by sidekick Matt Nasir (on the mandolin) and they open with ‘Punches’ followed by another track off of the new album ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’, which tackles the issues of mental health and the pressure of meeting the expectations of modern-day life.
‘Recovery’ is the 3rd song of tonight’s set and the first of Frank’s vastly impressive back catalogue, after which Frank takes some time to greet the crowd, let us know that tonight will see a 50/50 mix of new album tracks & classic songs, and to thank them for coming out for a gig at a bit of a weird time (this show kicked off at 6.15 pm!)
The next two tracks are introduced by Frank telling the crowd that his dad, now a transgender woman, is in the audience tonight. Both songs focus on their relationship – he joked about getting the uncomfortable ‘Fatherless’ out of the way first, to be followed by ‘Miranda’, an uplifting track about their more positive current relationship.
The rest of the set is a mix of new album tracks ‘Perfect Score’, ‘Untainted Love’ and ‘The Gathering’ alongside live show classics ‘1933’, ‘Get Better’ and ‘Photosynthesis’.
There is an extremely emotional and poignant moment, when Frank goes solo to play ‘A Wave Across A Bay’, a track written by Frank in the honour and memory of late Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison.
The final song of the night is ‘I Still Believe’ the perfect ending with the words “And who’d have thought, that after all, something as simple as rock n roll would save us all”, with Frank stating “it really did didn’t it?”
Tonight was a very welcome return to what Frank Turner does best and what his adoring fans love the most, seeing him on stage, playing live and belting out his songs.
Frank Turner plans to return to the UK in the autumn when he reschedules his cancelled Jan/Feb tour, and I for one can’t wait!
Photos: Mark Butler