Gig Review by Cain Suleyman with Photography by Chris Selby

Frank Turner. Such a peaceful musician who’s songs perfectly fit into sing around the campfire music like the glass slipper fits Cinderella’s foot. I’ve been listening to his music for so long that I can almost be forgiven for not recognising him as he powers onto the stage like a hurricane, screaming and shouting every last breath out of his body.

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A strange ringing motif fills the space as hundreds of metal heads prepare for the war, conducted by Frank Turner and his musical alter-ego Möngöl Hörde. There was a universal switch in everyones head as we all knew we would be saying ‘Hey Judas’ and causing mayhem to the song of the same name. Before I could inhale in preparation for the strong embrace of a full bearded man rugby tackling me, I found myself on the ground in a state of shock for the energy that has just been orchestrated by Frank Turner. As I stagger to my feet I am confronted by the man himself as he crowd surfs right in front of me and is screaming in my face. At this point I have no choice but to familiarised myself with this wild beast I see in front of me.

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Tonight’s first support came from Remote Viewing. As I walked through the doors I was hit by a wall of sound. A wild mix of heavy guitars, lung bursting screaming and hard as nails drumming. It was much to my disappointment to see the complete opposite in their physical stature on stage. For a second, I though I was walking into a band who are on the last leg of their farewell tour and just about to break up. Don’t get me wrong. They had an incredible sound and the combination of the music and vocals came together to make great songs. The only thing missing was that same level of energy in their stage presence to create a great all round package.

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Next up to the podium was London based band Good Tiger. Hard rock accompanied by Jeff Buckley like vocals with a heavy pop like twist. The combination of the two sounds felt as if it shouldn’t belong. But in a very strange manner it worked. Something about the soulful singing just fits perfectly with the cymbal heavy drums and minor tone guitar riffs. It was also nice to see a strong energy and want to be on the stage playing to a slightly more filled out venue. This was even present during the calmer songs during the set. There was a perfect placement of stage presence to suit all occasions throughout the set. This is definitely a band to watch out for in the future.

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Despite the weird and wonderful nature of Good Tiger, nothing could beat Mongol Horde on the weirdness chart as they played a metal rendition of Madonna’s Like a Prayer. Yes. You read that correctly. Halfway through the heavy guitars, crashing cymbals and growly vocals, the band managed to pull off one of the strangest covers I’ve ever seen and it was amazing! It was then to my surprise that I discovered about half the metal goers in the room also listen to Madonna as there were a surprising amount of fans singing every single lyric.

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“We’ve broken up three times” exclaims a very out of breath Frank Turner as he makes an age old joke about one of rocks greatest bands. “We’re like the Eels. And probably, after this tour, we’re gonna break up again”. Not even a second after he announces this, the band break into Your Problem and that short moment of calm is taken over by the storm of insanity.

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Towards the end of the set, Frank screams “I am the captain of the ship. And I will be obeyed” as he literally commands us during Blistering Blue Barnacles. We are the workers and we push through blood, sweat and tears to live up to his expectations of this being the most energy he has seen on this tour. With Scala being his final destination, none of us wanted to disappoint. Circle pits and wall of deaths were reoccurring activity during this song as he watched in with an approving smirk.

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The night finished with Mr Turner standing regally on top of the crowd taking in the sight of a sold out Scala. His final presentation of work was fan favourite Make Way as he joins his followers and ascends into chaos for the final time of the night. This was a gig not to be missed and will be cemented into everyones head for a very long time. But fear not if you missed this. The band made the promise that they will return with new material at some point in the year. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by keeping up to date on their website and Facebook page.

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Setlist:
Hey Judas
Winky Face: The Mark of a Moron
Weak Handshake
Stillborn Unicorn
Your Problem
How the Communists Ruined Christmas
Pornography for Cowards (Million Dead cover)
Tapeworm Uprising
Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover)
Weighed and Found Wanting
Godfrey Newman
Staff to Refund Counter
Casual Threats From Weekend Hardmen
Like a Prayer (Madonna cover)
Full Tits
Blistering Blue Barnacles
Smiling at Strangers on Trains (Million Dead cover)
Make Way

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