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Live Review: Frank Turner, Jon Snodgrass

15 April 2015 | 4:45 pm | Mick Radojkovic

" infectious performance from a singer whose touring longevity is proof he’s here to stay."

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“Do you want to hear a slow, sad song or a barn-burner?” asked Jon Snodgrass during his support slot tonight. The crowd response was obvious and set the tone for the evening. It was a night to party.

Snodgrass is an interesting singer-songwriter. A seemingly middle-aged and bookish-looking man with Coke-bottle glasses, he dons his guitar like a weapon and has an impressive and eclectic collection of songs. Snodgrass has a powerful and passionate voice but only the early arrival of the headliner and some light banter kept the otherwise tame set interesting.

The Metro Theatre in Sydney may be nowhere near England, but tonight it had the feel of a South London pub as the rowdy (and noticeably British) crowd responded to the opening track, Four Simple Words. The song, with the chorus of “I want to dance” inspired the crowd to do just that and it rarely stopped for the whole set.

Frank Turner dripped with charisma, charm and sweat throughout the almost two-hour set as he moved from proclaiming his atheism in the rocking Glory Hallelujah, punctuated with the anthemic refrain of “There is no God”, to a softer telling of old-time music halls in Balthazar, Impresario. 

Turner proudly indicated that this, his 1,661st show, was one of his favourites. That’s a big call, sure, but may not have been far off the mark. It was raucous, rocking, punky fun. Audience members were throwing their fists in the air and screaming along as Turner played old favourites and several new tracks from an album he confessed should have been out before this tour. Get Better stood out as a powerful new song from his upcoming album.

His impressive and animated band, The Sleeping Souls, were solid backing to an infectious performance from a singer whose touring longevity is proof he’s here to stay. Catch him when he returns next year.