LIVE REVIEW: Frank Turner, Guise, Samantics @ Virgin Money Unity Arena, Newcastle (07.09.20) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Thomas Jackson, Bennett Media

With the whimsical Samantics delivering an endearing and engaging set, and with songwriter (and Frank Turner’s wife) Guise supplying an earnest series of introspective and thoughtful numbers, by the time our headliner stepped on stage, the atmosphere had been set perfectly.

Striking an incredible balance between his emotive numbers on struggle, demons and heartache, Frank Turner controlled the crowd effortlessly and never without overwhelming charm and ease.

As the set opened simply with Turner belting out his hits armed only with his guitar, authenticity and humanity spilled out of him. When his mandolin player Matt Nasir joined the stage their companionship was undeniable. Their palpable chemistry shone on stage, allowing their friendship to add a very special flavour to the night.

Despite the raw power of his voice, or the thunderous sounds billowing from the stripped-back instrumentation, the selling point of the show was undeniably Frank Turner’s joyful, abundant energy. As the infamously restless tourer has had to stifle his love of live performances, the level of overwhelming passion, euphoria and triumph that he was experiencing on stage was infectious.

Turner explained that he chose to base his 2019 live album in Newcastle because of the remarkable energy and love that the city can inspire; tonight, his performance was a testament to it.

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