Flame–turbulence interactions are at the heart of modern combustion research as they have a major influence on efficiency, stability of operation and pollutant emissions. The problem remains a formidable challenge, and predictive modelling and the implementation of active control measures both rely on further fundamental measurements. Model burners with simple geometry offer an opportunity for the isolation and detailed study of phenomena that take place in real-world combustors, in an environment conducive to the application of advanced laser diagnostic tools. Lean premixed combustion conditions are currently of greatest interest since these are able to provide low NOx and improved increased fuel economy, which in turn leads to lower CO2 emissions. This paper presents an experimental investigation of the response of a bluff-body-stabilised flame to periodic inlet fluctuations under lean premixed turbulent conditions. Inlet velocity fluctuations were imposed acoustically using loudspeakers. Spatially resolved heat release rate imaging measurements, using simultaneous planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF) of OH and CH2O, have been performed to explore the periodic heat release rate response to various acoustic forcing amplitudes and frequencies. For the first time we use this method to evaluate flame transfer functions and we compare these results with chemiluminescence measurements. Qualitative thermometry based on two-line OH PLIF was also used to compare the periodic temperature distribution around the flame with the periodic fluctuation of local heat release rate during acoustic forcing cycles.