The Frames & Turn, Elmwood Hall, Belfast, 10th October 2002
On only their third gig, local newbies "Whats The Fusz?" were given the honour of opening this Queens Festival event. Considering this was an all-seated concert and nobody knew much about them, they coped well. Memories of early Therapy? and defunct Portadown rockers Joyrider sprang to mind. The songs were structured well, but, by the fourth song, they began to grow a little tedious. As musicians they were very tight, with the drumming providing an arousing backbone to each song. They looked surprisingly relaxed and nonchalant and by the end of their set, while nobody was particularly blown away, there was a certain sense of pride that the local band had put on a decent show. Given time and plenty more garage practice sessions they may move up the scale.
Turn have been gigging furiously around Ireland and the UK for years, but the success that a lot of people said they deserved has so far eluded them. I had seem them several years ago and have to admit I spent more time watching the rather attractive female security guard than the band. Tonight totally changed my opinion of the Irish rockers. They just seemed to gel so well together. Bassist Gavin threw some great rock poses and facial expressions that would put Flea to shame (almost). Ollie played the role of darkly sarcastic, but inescapably charming, frontman. From the opening chord of each song, he played like his life depended on it. Pummelling the guitar and almost yelping out the heartfelt (but slightly insipid) lyrics. After tonight's gig, I got the feeling that it was only a matter of time before the Feeder fans catch on and Turn will be catapulted to the success they do deserve.
And so to the band that can do no wrong. The Frames slow rise has been charted extensively. They are manically applauded to the stage. Glen is his usual grinning, effusive, and, if I dare say it, cuddly self. Like the best mate you always wanted to have, he charms the crowd with his tales, the crowd hanging on to this every breath never mind his every word.
They seem to effortlessly glide through their set. Nothing seems to phase them. Any technical hitches are dealt with a joke, a smile and the show goes on. The passionate loud tunes 'God bless mom', 'Pavement tune' and, in particular, 'Revelate' get the hearts beats racing and the feet thumping. The way they can glide from convulsing rock songs to heart-wrenching compositions is something that a lot of bands admire.
The eerie silence that falls on the packed hall during 'Headlong', the placidity during 'When the heart just stops' and the respect shown during 'Star Star' (which, as always, is moulded with a cover of "Two Little Boys") seems to affect everyone. New songs, 'People get ready' and, in particular, 'Blood', conjure up great hopes for the next album. The album that will, more then likely, see them rise to meteoric fame.
It almost gets too emotional and slightly embarrassing as the crowd worship at the Frames altar. But that's fine for now; let's just enjoy it. When they become as big as Coldplay (and they will), all of us cool music fans will, naturally, have to despise them. So for now, let's just be safe and cosy in the knowledge that they belong to us and only us. We can mock them later.