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You'll have to settle for Frank Turner at much bigger venues now

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

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FRANK TURNER and the SLEEPING SOULS

★★★★

Plymouth Pavilions

THE Tape Deck Heart tour is something of a challenge for Frank and his band.

Since he played at the Olympics and made a subtle move towards radio playlists and the dreaded 'mainstream', Frank has had to move his travelling jamboree into larger arenas.

Hence the last time he played in the south west was at a hot, heaving, packed and sweaty Exeter Lemon Grove. This time he faces a sell-out Pavilions, with spectacular light show and billowing smoke filling the wide open spaces and big-name American support act.

Towards the end he explains to his devoted fans he will play venues to fit the number of people who want to come and see him, and if that means a move away from the intimate clubs into big halls, then so be it.

And the good news is Frank's act has grown to fit the venue.

After energetic and well-received warm-ups from Beans On Toast and Flogging Molly, Frank and the Souls emerge from behind a curtain to smash their way through a lengthy set packed with songs old and new.

The sound is mighty, and occasionally blunts the edges of the songs, but on the whole this is a big, exuberant collection of songs for dancing and singing.

Favourites such as The Road and I Still Believe are rapturously received, and everyone goes home happy.

You won't see Frank and the Souls playing any more small venues for a while, but you'll be glad to know the magic is still intact despite the up-scaling.

GUY HENDERSON

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