Edit this event
- Frank Turner »
Gather round, children, it’s time for Frank to tell you a tale. Perhaps the tiny function room upstairs in a Wiltshire pub doesn’t quite compare aesthetically to the bright lights and bigger venues he’s playing on his current tour with The Automatic – tonight is one of his days off, incidentally – but you can’t fault his work ethic or his desire to play to anyone who’ll listen.
And so we sit, cross-legged, in front of Frank Turner, former frontman of the now dissolved Million Dead, like primary school kids come the day’s end ready to be hushed with some story or other. Our (somewhat unlikely) teacher cuts a well-travelled figure, perched upon a bar stool with his once-long hair now cut back to curls and concealed beneath a black hat. His stories aren’t ones of hungry caterpillars or little engines that could, though, more accounts of failed relationships, taking too many drugs and society’s failings. They’re tender folk songs delivered with a humour chaser, each one preceded with its own story.
His targets are numerous. During an extensive set he mocks those English middle-class musicians who strive to sound American (‘Nashville Tennessee’), he mocks himself for wasting his life (‘The Real Damage’), tells us all how unpleasant his ex-girlfriend is (‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’) and how unpleasant he is (‘Wisdom Teeth’). Interspersed are covers, including Sun Kil Moon’s ‘Glenn Tipton’ and the roaring battlecry of Chris T-T’s ‘The Huntsman Comes A-Marchin’’, the latter delivered with eye-popping conviction.
Perhaps something has happened post-Million Dead. Without wishing to sound rude, the Frank Turner who fronted the aforementioned young upstarts was talented enough, but the music world is never short of people wanting to be frontmen. In shorter supply are musicians who want to stand up and tell a story, who possess the charisma to send themselves up and the ability to make their point, whether it’s ridiculing their own ways or shady pasts, or pointing the finger of blame for our allegedly crumbling society squarely at the door of a ruthless Conservative government in the eighties. This is the kind of musician Frank Turner has evolved into, and to me at least it eclipses what he previously was.
And so we sit for an hour, probably only about seventy in number - but you get the impression that numbers don’t really matter to Frank. He’d probably pour his heart out and argue his point anywhere and anytime for anyone, readily mocking himself for your enjoyment as long as the atmosphere’s good. Tonight it’s positively enchanting, and just think: this is him on a day off.
Photograph of Frank Turner by Jacqui Sadler
- Interview: Frank Turner on The Olympics, The Backlash, Thatcher and Black Flag
- Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart
- AIM confirm second Independent Music Awards for 2012
- SBTRKT, theQuietus, Matador + many more nominated for AIM's Independent Music Awards
- Spotifriday #109 - This week on DiS as a playlist ft. REM, The Antlers, Nicola Roberts
- Bestival 2011: the DiS review
- In Photos: Bestival 2011 @ Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight
- In Photos: Kendal Calling Festival 2011 @ Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe