Frank Hamilton – Review
Monday 7th October
For those of you who haven’t heard of Frank Hamilton, you are forgiven. He doesn’t have a record label or a six figure promotions budget. But what he does have is a talent for song-writing and performing and a work ethic and self-discipline that would rival most professional athletes. Frank’s mammoth record #OneSongAWeek does what it says on the tin; it is a collection of 52 tracks from 2012, chronicling the highs, lows and in-betweens of the year for you all to hear, read and play along to (with the chord sheets and lyrics included in the complete album version). His music crosses The Feeling with Frank Turner, with influences from many other styles including pop-punk and hip-hop thrown into the mix too.
Unfortunately, I missed the first support act Orla Cartland due to an early start, however I caught the second support, George Bennett and his band. This piano led upbeat almost-bubble-gum pop quartet gave a very confident and animated performance, with the 4 part percussion break-down at the end of the first song being an unexpected twist which the young audience responded well to. Not even a cut hand could deter the front-man who soldiered on with the show even when blood was dripping down his arm. The song that followed this incident was a more mature track and seemed a bit more serious in a pseudo-Killers style. Whilst I found the songs a little inane, the performance was very tight and I think with some time to craft new material they have the makings of a great band.
Frank Hamilton opened his set with an old track, You, Your Cat and Me which the audience welcomed with open arms and mouths as they sang along. The changing drum grooves broke up the song very well and after just a couple of songs it was clear that the set was going to be peppered with intelligent lyric writing and big sing-a-long vocal hooks. With a mug of tea, coffee or possibly Lemsip and wielding a ukulele and wearing a checked shirt, Frank is not your typical arrogant front-man; in fact he comes across warmly to both strangers and long-term fans alike.
His technical abilities on guitar and vocally are both top quality, with his screeching solo in The Birds (4am) contrasted with his gentle finger-picking in the refreshingly original cover version of the Wheatus classic Teenage Dirtbag, showing that he is a man with many musical tricks up his sleeves. The unplugged version of Thinking Back which Frank played in amongst the audience was confident yet vocally tender and delicate. He closed the set with a couple of more upbeat numbers and his encore ending with Week 52 dedicated to the audience for supporting him and one of his personal favourites Flaws and Ceilings rounded the night off. The only criticism has to be that the venue should have been larger, the crowd more excited and the set maybe a tad longer. But it is still early days in his musical career and if he keeps on writing material this good it is only a matter of time before he breaks the big leagues into headline stadium tours.
Now that you have read this, you have no excuse to not have a listen and discover a fresh-faced singer-songwriter who might just be one of the best things you’ve not yet heard!
The ‘Summer’ EP is out now on iTunes for just £1.79.