REVIEW: Frank Hamilton at Sound Control

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FRIDAY night saw Indie-pop artist Frank Hamilton perform in a very festive Sound Control. Liam Shaw was there for Quays News.

With his latest album ‘Songs to make life slightly less awkward’ released at the end of September and a three date headline tour in the UK, Frank Hamilton was in high spirits for his final show of the year.

Frank’s gigs are unconventional to say the least, it’s not very often that you’re handed a raffle ticket as you walk through the venue doors but it’s his way of saying thank you to people for coming along.

Sasha and Charlotte Carpenter warmed up Frank Hamilton by performing a selection of their own tracks, however their soothing voices didn’t complement the style of the headliner. It’s a shame because as stand-alone artists they are fantastic, but their talent should have been saved for another night.

The stage was set up to resemble Frank’s own lounge complete with armchair and coffee table. He makes his way to the stage for an enthusiastic performance of 10 Days and 21c, two of his best-known singles from his latest album, receiving huge cheers from a lively Manchester crowd.

Then the raffle prizes started as he announced they were giving a mug away from last year’s tour that “we couldn’t sell” which gained laughs from the busy room.

This tour was also an opportunity for fans of the singer-songwriter to hear some of his older tracks that he hadn’t played in a few years. They’re obvious crowd-pleasers as people were dancing and singing along to the old favourites.

Frank is keen to show off his variety in performance style since he performed ‘Had Enough’ unplugged whilst sat in an armchair. It’s a nice touch that reminds us that his music sounds as good live as it does on the album.

He does the same for another track, but makes a break in the crowd and stands directly in the middle with only his guitar. Camera flashes light up the room, as everyone reaches for their phone. He’s more than just a musician, there’s almost a comedy vibe to them as well as he tells the crowd to “talk amongst yourselves” whilst he bashes out the guitar solo.

He’s not afraid to put his unique acoustic twist on much loved tracks either, as he covered Mud’s Lonely This Christmas and fan-favourite Teenage Dirtbag which gained the biggest cheers of the night.

Frank also played his part in an engagement, using his raffle tickets again to bring the lucky couple up to the stage for the proposal. Only one thing could follow, a dedication of ‘songs we fall asleep to’ to the couple only for the first lyrics to be “you’re a d*******, but I love you” and laughter fills the room once again.

As the gig drew to a close, and he announced that “If I die tomorrow” would be his last track, a still energetic crowd suddenly looked saddened. Spirits rose again though as he announced “of course it’s f****** not, but I will sit on the stage for you to scream loud enough for an encore”.

Thought it is a unconventional and unusual experience, Frank Hamilton is a must see. His distinctive voice and unique style allows you to slip into your own world for a couple of hours and forget everything else in the world. It’s just a shame that the support acts didn’t quite fit the tone of the headliner.

By Liam Shaw
@journalistshaw

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