Thoughts on Frank Turner

Ok, I’m going to do it…

I’ve been thinking about this one for a while now, trying to find the right words, the correct tone, whatever. I didn’t want this to come off as sounding negative, so I had to think about it, only downside is now, its a massive ramble!

Ladies and Gentleman, this is a long overdue post about Frank Turner.

I’m not going to bore you to death with the history lesson (that’s what wikipedia is for), I’m just going to try an explain why I (and so many others) seem to have fallen in love with the man.

Not so long ago, Frank was just a guy would had a past in a not so popular band and a few solo EP’s under his belt.  Regrettably, I managed to ignore him almost completely whilst his first solo shows were going on as I had not been inspired by his old band and I wish I had given him the time of day.

I remember hearing bits of “The Real Damage” EP on myspace (if that doesn’t date it horrifically, nothing will) and being surprised by his ability to tell a simple story, keeping it light hearted, yet so blissfully identifiable.  I bought it the day it came out and then started paying attention to him and regretting not doing so sooner.

By the time “Sleep is for the Week” was released, I was completely sold and also impressed by some of the new songs on the album as they showed a little more depth to his song writing, including “Back in the Day” which honestly reminded me of the days of my youth, as apparently we had a similar experience when we were that age…

Roll on to “Love, Ire and Song”, this record had me from moment one.  Again, I found myself identifying with the theme’s of the songs and feel of what he was going through.  The man was growing up and dealing with it by singing about it, I was just looking at Facebook and getting scared by old friends getting bald, fat, pregnant, looking more like their parents….between “Photosynthesis” and “Long Live the Queen” I could scarcely believe that theses songs were written by the same person!

On the tour of that album I saw Frank for the second time, I ended up in an odd conversation with him after the show, where neither of us wanted to admit to each other how old we were…after a few cheap jokes about grey hairs, we found out we were almost the same age (I’ve got a few months on him) and that we had been going through much the same things;

Me: “I had to cancel a show because I was the best man at a wedding the night before!”

FT: “I couldn’t play ____ festival because I was a best man!”

What age can do to your life and attempts to have fun!

I honestly thought that it would be almost impossible to top “Love…” as I identified with it so much, I expected it to be all downhill from there.  And you know what, I have never been so happy to be wrong!

“Poetry of the Deed” whilst not my favourite of his albums, offered more than a few moments of classic FTHC song writing that warmed my heart.  Between “Dan’s Song”, “The Road” and “Live, Fast, Die Old”, I couldn’t have explained how I felt about becoming an real grown up better.

Roll on the song above, feature on an EP and album within a few months.  Again before hearing both, I honestly wanted to not like both EP and album respectively as I keep expecting the magic to vanish.  Once again I am happy to say I was totally wrong!  ”If Ever I Stay”, “I Still Believe” and “Wessex Boy” continue to prove that the magic hadn’t gone.

If I was to try and nail down what makes FT’s songs so special, it would be that they are just honest identifiable stories about his personal life.  Perhaps the reason why I have been quite so taken with him over the last 4 years is identification?  Our similar age means we are going through the same things.

I don’t care who you are, or what you say, growing older is a weird feeling, everyone goes through it, everyone panics when their 30th is looming, when someone else they grew up with gets married before you, when someone younger than you has a planned baby…

Perhaps the best way to think about it is people change and grow, nothing can change that, not even rock and roll.

P.S. To anyone who has ever met me, I’ll let you in on a secret, one of my tattoos is inspired by Frank Turner.

12. July 2011 by Michael Partridge
Categories: General, Music, Personal | Leave a comment

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