From Friday 12th to Monday 15th May, folk-punk rocker Frank Turner teamed up with Onefest to turn the iconic Camden Roundhouse into his own mini festival titled Lost Evenings. Each night hosted a different theme and I was lucky enough to catch the second night, which saw Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls revisit his early material and play his debut album ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ in its entirety, as well as tracks from his 2006 EP ‘Campfire Punkrock’. As well as the four nights of entertainment from Frank, the days were full of various industry workshops and celebrated live music further with a second stage that showcased many great talents; the Nick Alexander Stage.
Frank kicked the second night of the festival off solo with ‘The Real Damage’, which the band came crashing into shortly before the end of the track, perfectly in time with the unveiling of a ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ backdrop that received a colossal cheer. Frank told the crowd of the mammoth task that him and the band had taken on with Lost Evenings, of preparing 80 songs – with this in mind, it’s even more impressive how tight the band were during every track, especially so due to the fact that keyboardist Matt Nasir wasn’t in the band back when ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ was released in 2006!
‘Casanova Lament’ and ‘A Decent Cup of Tea’ in particular sounded stunning, with Frank’s passionate rendition of ‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’ being another contender for the most outstanding track of the night, despite not being as lesser heard as the rest due to it being played during Frank’s ‘Get Better’ tour late last year.
Whatever song came next, the crowd were ready for a sing-along and Frank seemed taken-a-back by their enthusiasm for his old material, explaining that everybody that came to the original ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ tour could have fit into the Roundhouse. The enthusiasm didn’t stop with the crowd either as both Frank and the Sleeping Souls seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves – this and a comment Frank made about him enjoying playing ‘My Kingdom For A Horse’ again is enough to give us hope that some of the material will make it into future set lists.
The gig saw Violinist Anna Jenkins introduced for an array of songs that included ‘Back In The Day’, ‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’, ‘My Kingdom For A Horse’, ‘Casanova Lament’ and closing track ‘Fathers Day’. Frank returned to the stage alone after the latter for a song that nobody expected; ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’. Not played since 2008, Frank has said in the past that he’d never play the track again, so it was emotive to see a couple of thousand people shouting the lyrics back to him 11 years after its release. As previously mentioned, the night was full of mass sing-alongs and it came to an end with the biggest one yet to ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Friends’, complete with an appearance by Frank and his guitar down at the barrier.
It’s easy to see exactly why Frank is renowned for his passionate performances and the element of surprise in all of his set lists, with the presence of so many rarities in this particular set list being very special indeed. Based on Night 2 alone, Lost Evenings has been a roaring success and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the festival.
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