Sunday, 11 December 2016

Big Gig - Frank Turner at Rock City

Way back in January when my teen heard about my resolution of 'getting a new life' she thought my ideas would be a bit too tame. It was all very well to head off to the pub and listen to new music, but she thought I should stretch my boundaries a little further to include a 'big gig' - with a well-known performer who I couldn't casually approach and chat to afterwards, and at a venue large enough that I'd be lost in the crowd. 



Well, last Friday I got my chance, as Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls were headlining at Nottingham's Rock City. Now among the bands and musicians that I'd consider going along to see, Frank Turner is the biggest, the most popular, the star. He's huge! Next week he'll be playing another show in Nottingham, an anniversary party as it's his 2000th gig. But he's a bit of a 'marmite' performer - if you don't know who he is, I could talk all night and you'd still never know; if you do, well I don't need to say more!
So I was delighted when the teen agreed that I could go along with her - on the usual proviso that I could be left somewhere safely at the back while she had fun.
In the event, the 'challenge' proved a little more tasking, as she didn't feel well enough to come along, so I ended up taking my other half instead. Now, bear in mind that neither of us has ever been to an event like this before, I didn't even know where the venue was, that I've had doubts before about feeling too old for such events and was fully expecting to stick out like a sore thumb, and you'll see how daunting it seemed.




As it turned out, everything went like clockwork, and it was the most fun EVER!
Timings for the evening were early so we had no hope of getting there to catch the earlier acts, and the place was jammed full when we arrived ... but, by luck rather than judgement, I found a gap just behind the sound booth with a clear view of the stage over the heads of the youngsters in the mosh pit. Staying further back put us in with a slightly older crowd and when Frank came out on stage, started singing 'I Knew Prufrock Before He got Famous' and I joined in, I almost wished I'd been down in the noisy pit!




I'm not quite the die-hard fan that some are but I knew the words to most of the songs, and sang, clapped and jigged my way through the two hour set. It was great to hear Frank give a shout out to the Safe Gigs For Women initiative part way through his set, and not even having beer spilled down me by an overenthusiastic dancer could put a dampener (lol) on my mood.
Even hubby had a good time, though he's less enthusiastic that I am to repeat the experience. 



Through social media I know someone who is going to four concerts of this tour. It seemed a strange, unnecessary thing when I first heard about it - after all, it's going to be more or less the same each night, surely? But now I understand. 
Something that can't be appreciated on cd or vinyl, is just how great a showman Frank Turner is, whether dancing and jumping about the stage, talking to the crowd, or encouraging them to outperform other audiences. There's the most incredible buzz, a feeling that everyone in the audience is not just watching, but actively taking part in the show. It turns out I'm not too old for this at all, so I'll be back, on my own if necessary - and if anyone reading this has tickets they don't want for Frank's special 2000th gig back at Rock City next week, well, you know where to find me.


Just going to add an edit, that my teen would never forgive me if I went along next week. She has tickets to go with her mates, and mum being along, even far away in the crowd, would cramp her style.

13 comments:

  1. Fab blog and loved hearing about your night..Frank is amazing im so completely hooked and im 46..even had a tattoo to show my adoration haha enjoy mary every gig is so different x

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    1. I'm not sure I'll go as far as getting a tattoo, but I'll certainly be along to more gigs!

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  2. Can't beat proper live music :)

    My only difficulty in taking Oscar is a lot of the bands we like are 18+ for their gigs. Occasionally we get some which allow under 14's with an adult...

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    1. I'd imagine it's really difficult to find a venue letting under 14s in. I know of a couple of festivals - Splendour in Nottingham, and Curious Arts in Hampshire - which are very much family events, but then you probably don't get the bands you want or the younger part of the audience is expected to happily watch someone from CBBC (though I struck lucky with Curious Arts last year, seeing Skinny Lister and Billy Bragg) It's one of the few times when you want children to hurry and grow up!

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  3. I want to ask lots of old mother questions like "was it terribly noisy?" and "did anyone jump on your toes?" and "were you worried about pick-pockets?" but don't feel you need to answer - really I just would like a chance to go out to a gig again too! #TeensTweensBeyond

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    1. Ha ha. It's the sort of thing I would have been asking my teen a few years ago. Noisy? yes, but I've been to louder and more deafening gigs in smaller venues (after one couldn't hear properly for a week and I believe I'd damagirt incident :) )ed an eardrum!) No one jumped on my toes - though someone thought they could dance with a full pint glass, and that got splashed down my shirt! Pick-pockets? I have a pair of thin trousers with zip-up pockets - I bought them for hiking but I'm decided they're better suited to gigs! I loved every minute of it, and can't wait to be off out again. Hope you get the chance soon, too

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  4. I confess to not knowing Frank but I totally get the excitement of a live concert, I love them and quite frankly we are never too old. Well done you. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. Somebody once said to me that if you don't know who Frank Turner is, he's nobody, but if you DO, he's HUGE! I suppose that's the musical equivalent of a 'cult' film :) I'm not sure about never being too old (I wouldn't take my 90+ parents along) but I'm certainly not going to settle for slippers and early bedtimes quite yet.

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  5. You go girl! Sounds amazing. I also don't know who he is but like you and Jo, I love a concert. May we never stop dancing and being young. Nicky #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. I don't quite know how I've gone so long without discovering how much fun it is! I'll blame looking after children :)

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  6. You have filled me with enthusiasm Mary! Me and my husband are off to see the saw Doctors on 17th April and I was starting to think, oh no all that standing up, will my back be up to it? But now I'm really looking forward to it! I hope I don't get beer spilled on me though!! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond.

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    1. Oh that should be fun! Not just standing but dancing and jigging too :) Hope you enjoy it x

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  7. You can't beat the buzz of a live gig. Glad it was such a great experience for you! #TweensTeensBeyond

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