A packed out Scala brimming with eager, expectant fans awaits the ostensibly mild-mannered Frank Turner and his Möngöl Hörde conspirators on their final date of their 2 country, 4 date ‘world’ tour.
Introducing themselves as a Madness tribute band called ‘Sadness’, they finally take to the stage. It’s a running joke that continues throughout the whole evening of glorious punk rock. Opening with ‘Hey Judas’, ‘Hörde tear through their album with the ferocity of a pack of wild dogs on heat, pulling no punches to ensure everyone is thoroughly basking in delicious, distorted chaos. The bar is set high straight from the off with Turner stage diving into the crowd before singing a single word. The man starts as he means to go on. They continue to slalom through their set, with songs such as ‘Stillborn Unicorn’ as desperately haunting as their recorded counterparts. We’re then introduced to some new material – warmly received by an audience of crowd surfing, Punk loving, moshing bodies.
A surprise rendition of ‘Like a Prayer’ by Madonna is pulled out to great reception, voices ringing throughout the crowd. I’m convinced Turner spends more time riding atop a sea of hands and devil horns than he spends actually singing on stage. It’s exciting to watch, and the audience feel all the closer and more involved with the already intimate concert. But is there such thing as too many stage dives perhaps? Does the audience really want to have to hold you up for an entire set, so you can make yourself look the cool Punk Rock frontman? Either way, big man Frank clearly doesn’t give a shit and honestly I don’t blame him.
Bringing the evening of fast paced, hard hitting aggression to a close, the band unveiled that there is new material being written before ending on a high with ‘Make Way’. In a small, dark, overcrowded room smelling worryingly like someone had thrown too much chlorine at the wall, tonight Möngöl Hörde have created an excited buzz for fans who had waited 3 and a half long years for a reunion tour.
Can we look forward to a lengthier tour some time soon? Will there be a bassist involved in the future? Will Frank ever stop crowd surfing? Will my dad ever come back from the shops? Only time will tell.