On a chilly Tuesday evening in Portsmouth, Frank Turner started to bring his UK tour to an end with what he calls his home town gig. I’ve personally seen Frank several times at the Portsmouth Guildhall and I can promise you that it’s a completely different experience. It truly feels like coming home to the largest, most welcoming family you could imagine.
The evening started with Wilswood Buoys from Mersea Island, a two-piece acoustic guitar band; it was giving the alternative folklore band that you didn’t realise was missing from your Spotify playlist. My first thought was this is the British equivalent of Noah Kahan, which is needed.
With a heavy dose of wit, with their closing song “Save The Queen”, they informed the crowd that, unfortunately, they were called in time to do that. They also gave an insight into Frank’s record label that they are signed to and how they got to record their debut alum in Frank’s garden shed.
Frank later explained how during the lockdown, he and his wife moved to the country. Only move next to the Wilswood Buoy, it was said with such a smile and happiness in his voice that made the room realise how important that memory is to him.
Next up was truly the greatest performer I’ve ever seen grace the Guildhall station. The Lottery Winner, this indie pop band, has been around for nearly two decades, and I cannot understand how I’ve never heard of them.
Tom the font man kept reminding the crowd to pretend that every song “this is a hit” but really, there was no need to pretend that they were all hits that were just waiting to be discovered. – Recommend starting off their song “Sunshine”.
It was absolutely not surprising that Frank Turner brought another unforgettable experience for his 2738 show. Filling the room with excitement, joy and a place for everyone to come together. He opened with the crowd favourite “Recovery” and just built further from there. I don’t think Frank stopped for a second of the 2-hour show with an impressive 26-song set.
It was truly heartwarming to see first-hand how Frank Turner is creating a space for emerging talent to grow and refine their talent. I recommend seeing each one of these bands, and definitely in the backdrop of Portsmouth Guildhall. You will not regret it.
Words + phography by Cydnee Brook