From the Evening Standard: Frank Turner, HMV Apollo Hammersmith – review
By Rick Pearson 28 Nov 2011
In the fickle world of pop, Frank Turner represents the finest of things: an artist you can believe in. With his fourth album, England Keep My Bones, narrowly missing out on the Top 10, the singer-songwriter is finally graduating from a cult concern to a mainstream success. Next year he headlines Wembley Arena, supported by his hero Billy Bragg, and last night he came to a packed HMV Hammersmith Apollo for the final date of his UK tour. His detractors take great joy in pointing out that his man-of-the-people image is at odds with his upbringing – he was educated alongside Prince William at Eton – but only a curmudgeon could begrudge a performer who’s played more than 1,000 live shows and sings every song like it is his last. From the opening Eulogy to the closing Photosynthesis, Turner attacked these songs with such cathartic intensity it’s a wonder he was still standing at the end. He was helped on the night by a thundering four-piece band and an audience that sang along to every word.
Highlights included the barnstorming folk-rock of If Ever I Stray and the atheistic anthem Glory Hallelujah. If Turner has lost faith in the Lord, he remains a firm believer in the redemptive powers of rock’n’roll. "Who’d have thought that something as simple as rock’n’roll could save us all," he bellowed on I Believe, sounding like an acoustic Bruce Springsteen. A triumphant cover of Queen’s Somebody to Love promptly took the roof off. "I’ ll guess I’ll see you at Wembley next year, then," said Turner. You bet.