Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

By Sebastian Mackay

Artist:  Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

Date / Venue:  Friday April 17th, The Tuning Fork, Auckland

I'm sitting at the train station, it's 12.02 am, and I'm thinking this is the second time I've been covered inFrank Turner's sweat and haven't been jolted out of a dream (his mic was even changed) afterwards. Fucking awesome.

A bearded man in glasses, and burgundy dress shirt and came out onto the stage. They called him Jon Snodgrass.  And he acoustic folk rock like his life depended on it, part of me wanted to toast marshmallows but all of me wanted sing my lungs out. It was his first time in NZ and we should petition Chicks That Screamto bring him back.

Frank joined Jon for the most part of his set in a comedy of errors, piss take songs and a harmonica solo (or five) that makes snake charmers look half arsed.

Frank and The Sleeping Souls are the best live band in the world and anyone that thinks other wise is an idiot. Nobody plays bass like Tarrant, nobody plays guitar (and mandolin!) like Ben - there's so much passion, so much vigor that goes into every second of that set it's hard to believe they were running on two hours sleep. Mr Nigel Powell on the drums and Matt Nasir on the keyboards are a testament to something Frank said years ago: he's going to put together the best band in the world and he did.

My hair is slicked back by own and somebody else's sweat (mostly theirs and it was a lot of somebody's). We were packed in tighter than pig's guts in sausages and for every second the Tuning Fork was stifling we, the people, were screaming Frank's songs back to him.

Balls tightly compressed against the bearded, flannelled and equally sweaty guy in front of me, and everyone was having the time of their lives wiping other peoples sweat from places it shouldn't have been. But we were here to see Frank.

And hey, they all delivered like the grandest feast of them all. The crowd roared back to points where Frank was lost to the noise and (other than the poor guy that spent the night wedged between my sweaty body and the stage) danced a cult obsessed because for so many of us, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls was a religious experience.