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Bang Bang Romeo @Sheffield Plug

Doncaster’s Bang Bang Romeo have had a hell of a year.
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Airplay on national radio has coincided with playing loads of the big festivals and they were seeing out the year supporting Wigan heroes Starsailor.
I have seen BBR twice before and had a great time but I have to say, in the 12 months or so since I last saw them they have come on leaps and bounds as a live act. Playing at the Isle of Wight and Leeds Festival has obviously allowed them to hone their skills in front of a large audience and frontwoman Anastasia Walker has become even more of an imposing presence as a result of this. ‘The Maze’ kicks things off at Sheffield’s Plug and you can see people who haven’t heard the band before immediately take notice. Nobody is expecting such a polished sound from a band third on the bill and Stasi’s voice is awesome to behold as always. It is ‘We Wear Our Bones’ and particularly a storming  ‘Johannesburg’ that really gets things going though. From there it’s nothing but killer as the catchy chorus to ‘Adore Me’ has the crowd singing along and an emotional ‘Runaway’ is as affecting as anything that Starsailor will play later in the evening.
All the while Stasi prowls the stage that she owns imploring the crowd to come closer, sing along or start clapping. They are happy to oblige her. ‘Chemical’ and ‘Invitation’ close things out and the latter has become a monster set closer complete with strong backing vocals from guitarist Ross Cameron and bassist Joel Phillips. Drummer Richard Gartland completes the line up and not one of them leaves anything on the stage in a pummelling, all conquering set. A few minutes after they have finished, with Stasi’s voice still ringing in my ears, I hear someone in a Starsailor t-shirt whistling the chorus to ‘Invitation’ in the gents toilet. Another convert then…
Starsailor were excellent of course and for my full review of their set click here. It is refreshing to see one band on their way up and another on their way back and both playing as if their lives depended on it. This is what music should always be about.

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Frank Turner: The Interview

After Frank Turner agreed to have a face to face with Doncopolitan, we were heartbroken that work commitments scuppered that opportunity. However, being the true gentleman that he is, Frank agreed to answer any questions we wanted to email over to him. Here are the results:
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How was your first gig in Doncaster?
It was great thanks. It’s surprising to me that there are still cities I haven’t played in the UK now, given how much touring I’ve done here. I felt a bit bad for not having come through before, but it was a great show, so hopefully me and Doncaster are friends now.
Having lived in their home town of Winnipeg in the past, I have always been a big fan of The Weakerthans. You have played with John Sansom (lead singer) before, is there any chance of that happening again, either live or on record?
John is actually opening for me for a few shows on the West Coast of the USA in January. He’s a tough guy to pin down, very much keeps to his own schedule, but hopefully this might encourage him to join me for some more stuff. My door is always open for him!

You are coming up to your 2000th gig. Do you have anything special planned?
We are playing Rock City, my favourite venue, which is pretty special for me. Other than that, we are documenting the show, it’s important for me to capture what the Sleeping Souls and I are doing right now properly, for posterity. The supports are special too – Beans On Toast, of course, but also The Tailors, my favourite band of a decade ago, who are reforming for this gig.
Tell us about the documentary you have coming out?
Ben Morse is a close friend who’s been on the road with us as a photographer before. He pitched an idea of documenting a year in my life, the man who “never stops” or whatever. Seemed like a cool plan, so we started filming. About a month in, everything ground to a halt because of an argument about the making of the album “Positive Songs..” with my label, which then fed into things getting pretty dark in my personal life. Ben kept filming, so we’ve ended up with a film about a year in crisis, kind of. It’s pretty nerve-wracking for me to watch, but I think people will enjoy it.

If you could only play one of your albums live for the rest of your career which one would it be?
That’s a pretty impossible question for me. Each one represents a time in my life, and each has their moments and their failings. I’d be tempted to say “the most recent one” but I’m not sure that’s really right.

What is next for Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls?
We’re touring through til the end of next summer right now. Then we’ll be working on a new record.

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Coming Up: Frank Turner at the Dome

FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS TO PLAY DONCASTER DOME

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Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls are heading to Doncaster on November 23rd as part of a headline tour of the UK.

 The ‘Get Better Tour’ will take in 20 cities throughout November and December.

 Turner has partnered with Plus 1 so that £1 from every ticket sale goes to War Child, a charity supporting children and families affected by conflict and striving for a world where no child’s life is torn apart by war: www.warchild.org.uk

 Turner said, “I’m very happy to be working with Plus 1 on this tour. £1 from every ticket goes to the good people at War Child, supporting children and families in communities affected by war all over the world. It feels right to use part of what I do to support such a good cause.”

 Chris Hone, head of commercial development said: “We are thrilled to be bringing Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls to Yorkshire.

 “The Dome is a great venue for gigs and we’ve are sure that this one will be a night to remember.”

 Tickets cost £26.00 (plus processing fees) and are available here.