Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sleeping Souls

Frank Turner (photo Jimena Santoyo)
Getting near the end now. Thee are talks about running, a poetry salon with Andrew Motion, a panel about underworlds, another on nature and - my favourite (another science one funnily enough) - a talk about gravity by Stuart Clark. There was also a lunch with the outgoing Guests of Honour (us) and the 2016 incoming ones (a consortium of Latin American countries). 
In between it's a lot of running around: stocking up the information desk; finding a toilet without queues for a writer with a sprained ankle five minutes before she's due to give a talk; closing the second floor ramp when the visitor numbers get too much; arranging interviews; grabbing a coffee; and constant WhatsApping.
The evening's show was Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. Not really my kind of music - folk-punk - but there're one of the hardest-working bands around (gig number 1,798, of which 160 this year alone) and I've got to say they gave absolutely everything, a fantastic show. Turner himself is quite a character: super-friendly, bursting with energy, really genuine and utterly professional. He's known for his audience engagement, and rightly so. From the off, he had them in the palm of his hand, bantering constantly, sang a song in Spanish, and even crowd-surfed towards the end. Afterwards he signed autographs for over an hour. Me, I retired to our hotel round the corner and collapsed.

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