I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to an intimate session with Frank Turner, folk, rock, singer songwriter and formerly of punk band Million Dead. The former Eton boy, no stranger to negative press attention, performed with Matt Nasir, who was a treat on the mandolin.
It was a very short set, aired live on absolute radio for an audience of 20 or so die hard fans, industry types and corporate question marks.
The beauty about it being aired live on radio meant we were blessed with an interview, interspersed between the songs. And the humble self deprecating humour he exudes only adds to the accessible appeal of his music.
The duo kicked off with the newly released ‘the way I tend to feel’, the acoustic soulfulness of the passionately delivered love song left a knowing smile on the faces of the gents in the audience and one of sheer love sparkling in the eyes of all the ladies.
Recovery, a more rocky, uplifting ‘just been dumped so I’m going to get trashed until I feel better’ anthem, finds him, at the beginning of the track, on a bender, at an East London after party, accepting ‘something’ for the pain from a stranger. Queue conspiratorial smirks from the half the audience who have been there themselves.
Next was a simultaneously brilliant and comical cover of ‘Live til I Die’, featuring a few impressive mandolin solos and big grins all around.
Finally we went off air and Frank treated the live audience to an energetic rendition of ‘Photosynthesis’, a catchy tune from his Love, Ire & Song album (2009) about his rebellion against the norms of the world around him, filled with all the irony, humour and catchy lyrics that make his music optimistic and filled with fun, regardless of the subject matter. We finished off by joining him to sing loudly along with the chorus ‘I won’t sit down, I won’t shut up, and most of all I will not grow up!’ Going out with a bang.
The word of Frank Turner is fast spreading all over the world, and as his fan base grows so he follows it. He is touring Europe in September and most importantly, although UK tour dates have not yet been announced, he did assure us that they will be pretty soon. And I’m excited to get another fix.