Gig Review: Frank Turner at Rock City

Words: Izzy Morris
Photos: Max Harries
Friday 30 September 2022
reading time: min, words

Punk’s not dead; it’s alive, electric and accessible. Rock City veteran Frank Turner struck more than just a chord within the hearts of his audience at his long anticipated, sold-out show...


Beginning with a warm welcome by two-piece folk band Truckstop Honeymoon and the high energy, infectiously fun Pet Needs, the crowd was well and truly ready and raring to go. It felt like the headline act was already standing before us given the enthralling stage presence of Pet Needs’ frontman Johnny Marriott.

They commanded the room with their explosive performance, capturing a whole host of new fans with ease, with just a taste of what is on the horizon for them. Their anthemic punk rock energy will be returning to Nottingham soon as they headline Bodega on the 15th December for a night not to be missed.

From the first chant of "Heigh ho, heigh ho, heigh ho", the crowd was completely and entirely ready to be absorbed into the Frank’s world, with the full range of Frank Turner classics, fan favourites and powerful punk picks from the number one album FTHC.

Accompanied by the ever-faithful Sleeping Souls, tracks like The GatheringThe Next Storm and 1933 were brought to life in a way that’s only made possible in the flesh. That’s the best way to enjoy his work: drenched in sweat, pulsing with speaker vibrations, screaming the words right back.

Given the fact that he’s always on the road on a ‘never-ending tour of everywhere’, Turner is very much aware of this fact, and that passion for providing his community of fans with a freeing, inclusive environment in which to truly connect with his masterful songwriting.


It was made very clear from the offset that this was a gig for everyone, whether you’re ready to dive headfirst into the mosh pit, or whether you’re more inclined to sing along from a distance, with your own space to enjoy yourself.

Everyone is welcome at a Frank Turner show, regardless of who you are or where you’ve come from. The openness that Frank radiates felt very much shared by the audience, with strangers joining together to dance, sing and mosh. There was nothing intimidating about being a member of this community, which made the event all the more special.

While the majority of the evening was a high-energy ‘participation event’, There She IsThe Ballad of Me and My Friends and Be More Kind all enjoyed the solo treatment, going back to the folk end of Frank’s sound.

This sing-along laidback section was appreciated by the crowd just as much as the raucous energy from before though, with that community feel remaining felt throughout. Even without the theatrics of a full band, Frank’s stage presence remains to be unbelievably commanding, as was the case at his Metronome appearance earlier this year.


The energy never truly left though; the pit opened up once more for quintessentially hardcore track Non Serviam. The room was filled with a sea of limbs, hair and shirts and an incredibly powerful driving force. A return to his roots, the track perfectly translates to live performance. Rock City needed no convincing as it erupted into movement again and again.

He reminded the audience at one point in the night that he has the venue’s name tattooed on his body; that affinity and appreciation he has for the place is undeniably echoed by its patrons, who will almost certainly be struggling to get their vocal chords back in working order for quite some time.

Frank Turner without a doubt rocked the city of Nottingham, leaving the audience gleaming and refreshed, despite the dripping sweat and panting easily spotted from much of the crowd. Once again, Rock City was graced by the world-class talent of an old friend.


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