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All Quiet On The Western Front

Hello everyone. Things have been a little quiet since the end of the UK September tour, so I thought it would be good to round up some bits and pieces of news in one place and update everyone on what’s going on.

Let’s begin shall we?

The first big piece of news is that we are less than two weeks away from the release of ‘The Third Three Years’. It’s pretty mental to think that not only is this release now due, we’re only just fitting it in before the end of the year. Makes me feel a little long in the tooth, but then it’s nice that this time round people have been hassling me about the release for the most part, rather than the other way around. Anyway, you can pre-order the
CD (with some cool optional extras and so on) from Xtra Mile right here.

Secondly, after some behind-the-scenes confusion and plan-changing, we are finally about to hit the studio at the start of next month to make the sixth record. Details about where, when and with who I’m still keeping close to my chest, but it’s great that it’s finally getting under way. To prepare for the session, and to honour the passing of (yet another) Great British Music Venue, the Sleeping Souls and I will be playing two intimate shows at the Hereford Jailhouse on 27th & 28th November. The first night is sold out already, so get your tickets quick!

After that, our last show of the year, as many people will already know, is at O2 Brixton Academy on December 17th for the XFM Winter Wonderland Party. Tickets are onsale now and can be found here; there are some amazing other acts playing, and they’re going fast.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that I have made it through the slog to complete the first draft of my forthcoming book of road memoirs. There’s an editing process to go through yet, so we’re not looking to release for a little while, but I’m relieved to have made it that far. Writing is hard.

Well, that’s me for today. See some of you at the remaining shows this year, and then we’ll be back with a new album and a whole load of touring again in 2015. Happy Christmas and all that.

ft

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Rock Am Ring & Rock Im Park 2015

People of Germany! I’m thrilled to announce I will be playing next year’s Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals.

Catch me between the 5th and 7th June 2015 at Flugplatz Mendig/Vulkaneifel and Nuremberg Zeppelinfeld.

Tickets go on sale 9am CET Monday 6th October.

Book tickets at for Rock Am Ring here and Rock Im Park here.

See you there!

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Agent Of Change Petition

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or have been at some of the recent shows, you’ve probably heard about the petition I’ve launched lately to try and help out the live music scene in the UK. The petition is here, please do sign it if you haven’t already – we’ve topped 22,000 signatures now!

Here’s a quick video on the subject too. Thanks everyone for your support, we can make a real difference and keep underground music live and vital.

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Sept Tour General Sale…

Tickets for the September tour are on General Sale now.

Missed out on the pre-sale? Hit the links below.

Here’re those dates in full:

11.09.14 – Norwich UEA [TICKETS]
12.09.14 – Leicester De Montfort Hall [TICKETS]
13.09.14 – Salisbury City Hall [TICKETS]
15.09.14 – St Albans Arena [TICKETS]
16.09.14 – Cambridge Corn Exchange [TICKETS]
18.09.14 – Northampton Roadmender [TICKETS]
19.09.14 – Bath Pavillion [TICKETS]
20.09.14 – Yeovil Westlands [TICKETS]
22.09.14 – Exeter Lemon Grove [TICKETS]
24.09.14 – Hartlepool Borough Hall [TICKETS]
25.09.14 – Dunfermline Alhambra [TICKETS]
26.09.14 – Warrington Parr Hall [TICKETS]
27.09.14 – Hull City Hall [TICKETS]
28.09.14 – Wakefield Unity Works [TICKETS]
30.09.14 – Oxford Town Hall [TICKETS]

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UK TOUR + PRESALE

It’s time to get back on the road again.

This September we’ll be playing 15 shows around the UK – hope to see you all there.

Tickets go on general sale this Friday but you can get yours ahead of time with our exclusive fan presale.

From 9am tomorrow (July 15) you’ll be able to get tickets exclusively from my official ticket store or – if you are at work or on the move – via the GIG BUDDY mobile app here.

GIG BUDDY gives you access to pre-sales for my gigs and helps you plan the whole experience with your friends. Download the app here.

Those dates in full:

11.09.14 – Norwich UEA
12.09.14 – Leicester De Montfort Hall
13.09.14 – Salisbury City Hall
15.09.14 – St Albans Arena
16.09.14 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
18.09.14 – Northampton Roadmender
19.09.14 – Bath Pavillion
20.09.14 – Yeovil Westlands
23.09.14 – Exeter Lemon Grove
24.09.14 – Hartlepool Borough Hall
25.09.14 – Dunfermline Alhambra
26.09.14 – Warrington Parr Hall
27.09.14 – Hull City Hall
28.09.14 – Wakefield Unity Works
30.09.14 – Oxford Town Hall

Can’t wait to see everyone up close again.

Finally, September also has us playing a couple of UK festival dates. Tickets for OnBlackheath and Looe festivals are onsale now.

14.09.14 – OnBlackheath Festival [TICKETS]
21.09.14 – Looe Festival, Looe [TICKETS]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]

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