Tuesday 10th & Wednesday 11th August 2021
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FRANK TURNER – CODA, COLCHESTER – LIVE REVIEW
Having already attended and reviewed the Download Pilot Festival and Seasick Steve since the reopening of the live music sector, we want to stop referencing the pandemic. The problem is that nights like the two that Frank Turner serves up at Coda in Colchester simply act a reminder of what has been missing for the past almost 18 months.
Thankfully, mercifully, cautiously, live music is back. For two consecutive evenings, fans cram into the awesome independent venue in Colchester known as Coda. The reason? If any opportunity for a gig isn’t excuse enough, the one and only Mr. Turner is introducing himself to an area of the country he now calls home.
Whilst more likely to be found in much larger venues these days, Turner still has the grassroots familiarity to instigate a hot, sweaty drunken sing-a-long session. Everybody packed into this bar knows every word to every song and passionately sings them back in unison. It’s like live music never went away.
Playing the two shows in the same venue, Turner mixes his set list each night. Realistically the man has enough in his arsenal to cover many more nights here, as he demonstrated with his Independent Venue Love series during Lockdown.
All the fan favourites are on tap for those in the bar with ‘Long Live The Queen’, ‘1933’, ‘The Road’, ‘The Way I Tend To Be’, ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’, ‘Be More Kind’, ‘The Next Storm’, ‘Photosynthesis’, ‘Recovery’, ‘Get Better’ and set closer ‘I Still Believe’ amongst the songs available both nights.
The guest ales such as ‘Polaroid Picture’ and ‘If Ever I Stray’ on Tuesday and ‘I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous’, ‘I Am Disappeared’ and ‘Four Simple Words’ on Wednesday help to differentiate the shows for those in attendance both nights.
Having started out his solo career on his own (and still performing solo regularly), Turner is now often accompanied by The Sleeping Souls. In recent times solo shows have been billed as duo shows and see Turner joined by Sleeping Soul member Matt Nasir. This dynamic works extremely well both for musical accompaniment and also for onstage banter.
As mentioned, Turner now resides in Essex. He has a song called ‘Wessex Boy’. Yes, he did the obvious switch, which for every other artist would have been incredibly tacky, but somehow for Turner here it works and elicits a proudly fierce reaction from the crowd.
THE FULL PELT MUSIC PODCAST
A new album is on the horizon for Turner and over the two nights fans are treated to glimpses of the record in the shape of ‘The Work’, ‘Muhammad Ali’, ‘Little Life’, ‘Fatherless’ and new single ‘The Gathering’. There certainly appears to be plenty more to come from an artist for whom their next album will be their ninth solo effort.
The future appears bright. Over two nights the stage was graced by four support acts with bright futures with Wilswood Buoys and Jess Guise on Tuesday and Gin Twins and Josiah Mortimer on Wednesday all impressing the packed audience.
So, yes, the future does indeed appear bright. Bright for Turner, bright for a great new venue, bright for young musicians, and bright for live music! There really isn’t anything better.
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