"Let’s hear it for my dad."

It is an unusual line from a musician who has just taken the stage. Especially for one who is later to play a song called ‘Fathers’ Day’, where through gritted teeth he will dissect his troubled relationship with someone we assume is the same man.

But there is that contradiction at the heart of tonight’s performance from punk-turned-folk singer Frank Turner. One minute he sings with pride about his hardcore past, the next he (unforgivably) covers Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’.

There is no doubt he can write a fine song. The "We’re definitely going to hell" refrain of 'The Ballad Of Me and My Friends' is a sing-a-long classic, and a section of the audience duly sing along, as they do frequently and with gusto throughout the show.

So much fun, however, is being had on stage that we’re subjected to frequent breaks for every other person in the audience to get a personal thanks. It’s less like you’ve come to a gig, more like you’ve wandered into someone else’s party and they’re merrily thanking all their friends for coming.

Turner has a real talent and a brutal and quite affecting honesty about much of his songwriting. His banter can be spot on, like the incitement to applaud the man who has just bought him a drink, swiftly followed by a knowing, "It could be you getting that cheer..."

Tonight, despite some high points, there’s a bit too much back slapping on everybody’s part for much momentum to build though. And I really hope his dad had words about that Abba cover.

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Commenting On: Borderline, London, 13/2/2007 - Frank Turner

ie London, England

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472 Posted By: indie schmindie ()

franks's too good for the likes of you

he's borderline

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