|Paul Linehan lead vocals and bass.|
One of Ireland's truly greatest bands The Frank And Walters were celebrating in style last Saturday night at home in their native Cork city. It was the band's 25th anniversary and the venue was a packed, sold out show in The Opera House located in the heart of town.
Preceding their performance tonight all four band members along with several hundred fans assembled at Grand Parade and marched to the concert venue to the sound of The Barrack Street Band. Support onstage came from The Minutes and Rubyhorse but it was clear that everyone there just wanted to see their heroes The Franks.
Twenty five years is a long time in one's life and for many including myself there are a lot of great memories of The Frank And Walters music. I was lucky enough back in the 1990's to get promo cassette tapes of bands from record labels such as Setanta Records. I remember one time in particular receiving a floppy vinyl promo of the band back in the very early days. I also remember seeing them play support to The Wedding Present in Limerick's Savoy Theater over 20 years ago.
Tonight was more of a reassurance of their brilliance than a trip through nostalgia as they kicked off their set with 'Tony Corcoran' and delighted the crowd again and again by playing almost everything important from their back catalogue. 'After All', 'Fashion Crisis Hit's New York', 'Colours', 'Michael', 'How Can I Exist' were just some of the highlights. Between each song the chanting from the crowd 'we are, we are the frank and walters......' could be heard throughout the venue.
It was evident tonight that there is a huge loyal following to The Frank And Walters and probably most people assembled there have been fans from the beginning. Their music has an honesty and as much relevance to me and many others of our generation as The Smiths or The Cure or Joy Division ever had. This is a band who has survived and that's what is the most important, they never sold out to become obnoxiously overpaid rockstars but they have provided many of us with the soundtrack of our lives. May they continue to do so and we will look forward to their next album which will be a welcome release in 2015. It was a delight to see them being appreciated and celebrated in such a fine way last weekend and I will stand by my opinion that they are Ireland's greatest band.