Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls

Positive Songs for Negative People 

Boston House of Blues 9/26/15
by Maia Kennedy

Frank Turner is touring the US right now to promote his new album, Positive Songs for Negative People, but I don’t think I saw a single negative person in the audience last weekend at the House of Blues. This was a really friendly crowd, tons of smiles and strangers offering to get drinks for people they had just met. The packed house didn’t surprise me, but the range in ages in the audience did - at least one as young as 10! Frank Turner is a musician with wide appeal indeed!

The night started off with Beans on Toast, just one guy, Jay McAllister, on acoustic guitar. He seemed to be having fun and entertained us all with songs and stories. One story he told was about a girl who introduced herself at one of his shows. She told him about a guy who had tried to pick her up, trying to pass himself off as a musician, playing a Beans on Toast song and saying that it was his. She wound up dumping him but bought a Beans on Toast CD and t-shirt, so Jay thanked the guy and anyone else who wanted to try stealing his songs.

This guy is really a marketing genius! After he left the stage, he invited people to meet him at a side table where he sold t-shirts, decorated with a “custom design” that he drew right there with a magic marker. One little girl showed us her t-shirt with a big “Surprise!” written on the front.

Skinny Lister filled the stage next with lots of energy, moving and dancing non-stop during every song. They involved the audience with their contagious energy, inviting everyone to sing along. Michael Camino, the double bass player even crowd-surfed while still holding onto the instrument (about as big as another full-sized man). I don’t know how he didn’t get dropped, but he seemed confident and kept playing as he rode the tide of hands! Later on, Lorna Thomas, the lead singer, also jumped out to take a turn at surfing the crowd, but she took her cell phone along. A smaller and easier instrument to handle maybe - she managed to take selfies with the crowd as they were passing her high overhead. She was in a short dress and heels by the way, which couldn’t have made this any easier.

Frank Turner performed with his band The Sleeping Souls for at least two hours, as well as doing a few solo songs. I would be surprised if the first night’s performance was as lively as this night’s was, because I just don’t know where they get their energy from! They covered the stage from one end to the other, dancing and jumping as they played. Their energy was infectious and easily transmitted: you couldn’t help but join! They thrilled the audience with a wide selection of songs from a number of their albums, not just Positive Songs for Negative People. The front row was filled with girls hanging on every word, yelling and singing even louder when they heard their favorite songs. Frank said he loved it when the audience sings along, saying, “making music is an act of expression that everyone can enjoy, no need for expensive seats or backstage passes to participate.”

See full-size photos of Frank Turner here.

Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls

Frank Turner – lead singer, guitar

Ben Lloyd - guitar, mandolin

Tarrant Anderson - bass

Matt Nasir - piano

Nigel Powell – drums

Frank Turner Setlist

Get Better

If Ever I Stray

Try This at Home


Peggy Sang the Blues

Losing Days

Silent Key

Sons of Liberty

Love Forty Down

Wessex Boy

The Real Damage

Dan's Song

The Way I Tend to Be


Plain Sailing Weather

Glory Hallelujah

Reasons Not to Be an Idiot



Long Live the Queen

The Next Storm


Song for Josh

I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous

I Still Believe

Four Simple Words

See full-size photos of Skinny Lister here.

Skinny Lister

Daniel Heptinstall –bassist

Lorna Thomas - singer

Maxwell Thomas - mandolin

Michael Camino – double bass

Sam Brace - guitarist

Thom Mills - mandolin

Skinny Lister Setlist

Raise A Wreck

George's Glass



Bold as Brass

John Kanaka

Rollin' Over

Trouble On Oxford Street

Seventeen Summers

If the Gaff Don't Let Us Down

This Is War

Forty Pound Wedding

See full-size photos of Beans on Toast here.

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