blog

Schmadiohead

My friends warned me not to do it – don’t get involved in any kind of internet spat with Radiohead fans, they said; they’re basically indie Beliebers, they said. And yet here we are.

I’m taking the piss, obviously, though I have received a fair amount of flak in the last few days thanks to a comment I made about Radiohead in a recent interview. The comment was lazily put, which is my bad, and it was promoted to click-bait headline status (slow news day, guys?), and it left me wanting to elaborate a little on what I was trying to say in the first place.

First up, I’m a huge Radiohead fan. “Creep” is far from my favourite song of theirs, and for my money “In Rainbows” was one of their best records yet (though “King Of Limbs” didn’t do so much for me). Taken as a pair, “Kid A” and “Amnesiac” are probably my favourite albums. I’ve seen them a handful of times, and in fact have seen them play “Creep” (at Reading), and very good it was too.

Secondly, every band has (or should have) artistic autonomy, and no one can tell them what to do, whether it’s label bosses, “the fans” or snarky shitheads like me. Radiohead can play whatever set they want to play, and I’ll most likely enjoy it, and even if I didn’t, so what, right? Also (and I’d like to think this was obvious, but apparently not to some people, so here it is) I am not comparing what I do to Radiohead. Not in the same league, creatively or commercially (who is?).

The point I was trying to make, however, is that bands are not just artists. When you’re playing a live show and charging money for people to come, you’re also an entertainer, whether you like it or not. You can handle that role any number of different ways – you can just play “the hits”, or you can play none of them; you can talk to the audience, or not; you can play for four hours (Springsteen) or roll around in glass and shit (GG Allin). It’s your stage.

My frustration is with bands who see that description, “entertainer”, as some kind of slight. In some cases it’s almost like the audience is an imposition on their sacred creative act. If that’s how you feel, don’t play shows and charge people to come to them, stick to the studio. Perhaps a better example than Radiohead and “Creep” (if I’d taken the time to think before I speak, imagine that!) is Bob Dylan. When I saw him play it was just shit, and he was pretty openly trying to piss the audience off – shit setlist, played piano throughout, sang terribly and changed all the melody. Well, fine, but I won’t be coming back again, not at £60 a ticket.

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a middle way between being slavishly populist in your set list choices, and only playing weird obscure B-sides. Dropping a song that everyone in the room wants to hear every now and again isn’t “selling out” or whatever, it’s entertaining, and that’s at least part of the job description.

Plus, the world is full of people (like me) who wish they had just one song that was that great. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Radiohead play a single song off “The Bends”, and that’s just a shame to me – they’re great songs, some of the best ever written, and I don’t want to see other people play them if Radiohead are still a touring band.

Of course, as I said, every band is free to think differently about it and play whatever the fuck they want; Radiohead won’t read this, and if they ever did they have no obligation to give a shit. Fine. Personally, I’ll continue to write my set lists to include the songs from early records that I know people want to hear. Each to their own.

Click here to comment this news item

TWO SONGS FROM COLOGNE

While in Cologne recently, Frank took to the streets to play a couple of songs for The Cardinal Sessions, including a John K Sampson cover.

‘Good And Gone’ – Live in Cologne [WATCH]
‘Heart of The Continent’ – Live in Cologne [WATCH]

Thanks to The Cardinal Sessions.

Click here to comment this news item

THE WORD FROM COACHELLA

Frank’s been acclaimed as one of the best ‘things’ at Coachella by Rolling Stone Magazine.

Dubbing him the ‘Hardest-Rocking Acoustic Guitarist’, the music bible was full of praise for Frank successfully pulling off the “tough folk-punk combo”.

Click here to read the whole thing.

But don’t just take Rolling Stone’s word for it – check out ‘Recovery’ live from Coachella here.

Click here to comment this news item

ZZOUNDS.COM – WIN SIX GRAND’S WORTH OF GEAR

This week Frank sat down with the lovely people from ZZsounds.com, the website of choice for music makers of all kinds.

The comprehensive interview touches on everything from Frank’s hardcore punk roots to the dividing line between personal and public.

Read the whole thing and win six grand’s worth of gear, here.

Click here to comment this news item

US SHOWS ON SALE NOW

Tickets are now on sale for our fistful of headlining dates in the US, we’re heading from Vermont to DC in May and June.

We’re also settling our account with South Carolina by rescheduling the two shows that we had to reschedule last November. Thanks for your patience guys. All tickets remain valid.

Links below.

MAY
Tue 27 – Higher Ground, Burlington, VT [TICKETS]
Fri 30 – Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, TN [TICKETS]

JUNE
Sun 01 – New Brookland Tavern, Columbia, SC [TICKETS]
Mon 02 – The Music Farm, Charleston, SC [TICKETS]
Wed 04 – 9:30 Club, Washington, DC [TICKETS]

Click here to comment this news item

NEW AMERICAN SHOWS

We’re heading back to America in a couple of months to kick off the summer with a round of headlining shows up and down the eastern states.

We’re also settling our account with South Carolina by rescheduling the two shows that we had to reschedule last November. Thanks for your patience guys. All tickets for these shows remain valid.

Those dates in full.

MAY

Tue 27 – Higher Ground, Burlington, VT

Fri 30 – Bijou Theatre, Knoxville, TN

JUNE

Sun 01 – New Brookland Tavern, Columbia, SC

Mon 02 – The Music Farm, Charleston, SC

Wed 04 – 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

Tickets go on sale this Friday, March 28 from noon. Check for links in the usual places.

Click here to comment this news item

NEW ARIZONA TOUR DATES

Frank is playing a trio of shows in Arizona this April – see below for dates and ticket links.

April 16 – The Press Room, Phoenix, AZ [TICKETS]
April 17 – Rialto Theatre, Tucson, AZ [TICKETS]
April 18 – The Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, AZ [TICKETS]

Support on all dates comes from To Kill A King and The Drowning Men.

Click here to comment this news item

FINAL FEW TOUR KITS

We’re down to our last handful of ‘FTHC’ Tour Kits in the shop.

If you’re quick you can snap up the final stocks of Tour Kit 1 (t-shirt w/fabric pen, bandana, lighter, medal, A1 poster, shot glass) or Tour Kit 2 (T-shirt, shot glass, necklace).

When they’re gone they’re gone.

Tour Kit 1
Tour Kit 2

Click here to comment this news item

Sonisphere Announce

This July Frank will be heading to Knebworth Park for Sonisphere Festival.

Also on the line-up are Metallica, The Prodigy and Frank’s Mastermind specialist subject from January – the mighty Iron Maiden.

Frank: “I’m excited to be playing Sonisphere this year, and super excited to be playing the same stage as the first band I ever fell in love with – Iron Maiden; it’s definitely going to be my festival highlight for 2014.”

Tickets and info are available from www.sonisphere.co.uk.

Click here to comment this news item

The ‘Polaroid Picture EP’ Out Now

The ‘Polaroid Picture EP’ is out now.

As well as the title track, the EP also includes three covers of songs from Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit and Weakerthans, along with the brand new track ‘Sweet Albion Blues’.

1. Polaroid Picture
2. The Modern Leper
3. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
4. Who’s Got A Match
5. Sweet Albion Blues

Get it from iTunes here or grab a proper physical CD right here.

US fans click here.

And if you haven’t already, check out the video here.

Click here to comment this news item