Frank Turner: Cliffs Pavillion, Southend      

It’s hard to think of Frank Turner as part of the establishment but, after 11 years as a solo artist, he is punk rock royalty. With that comes pros and cons. The angst, the rage, and the fall to the floor desperation inevitably fades. However, being a massive Freddie Mercury fan, Turner is developing into the consummate performer.

Essex, a far too deprived county of proper gigs, is pumped and raring to go as Turner strides on stage. The ease at which he glides around the stage or leaps onto speakers on set opener ‘1933’ is, well, palm of his hand should cover it.

‘Making America Great Again’ leaves a big imprint on his Southend faithful. To be progressive of political thought in this county is not the norm so, to hear the chorus “Let's make America great again / By making racists ashamed again / Let's make compassion in fashion again” belted out is staunch reminder that we’re not alone.

Of all the classics he plays, its ‘The Ballad Of Me and My Friends’ that always shines brightest. For those who find no solace in this anthem we say this, you’ll never know the collective spirit forged in a dark sweat filled room that provides goosebumps for a lifetime or, as Frank might say:

"But if your all about the destination / Then take a fucking flight / Where going nowhere slowly but seeing all the signs / And we're definitely going to hell / But we'll have all the best stories to tell"

Image Source: Martin Neal