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Over Down Under

As confidently predicted in my last blog post, Australia has succeeded in remaining awesome in the year that I’ve been away. As also predicted, flying from Berlin to here is a pain in the balls, and I am far from settled into this time zone. The good side of that is that long hours spent awake while Sydney sleeps are a great time for me to listen to Josh T Pearson records and get on with writing up my book of tour diaries – I’ve done more work on that in the last 24 hours than I have in months, so the project is creeping a little faster towards completion, which is a good feeling.

After a blathering introduction, I will be brief. More shows have been added (predictably enough) that I want to tell you all about. Firstly, on May 23rd I will be playing an instore at the excellent Rise Records in Cheltenham. It’s a free show but you will need a wristband to get in. Details of how to get one of those can be found right here.

Next up, I have added a little show at the Whitley Bay Playhouse on July 7th, details and tickets here. And finally, I will be appearing at this year’s Belladrum festival in Scotland, which is excellent, because Scotland is excellent, so there’ll just be a whole truckload of excellentness (excellence?) going on right there. OK?

Right, I’m wiped out and press schedule for the day hasn’t even started yet. Oops. Time for some weird interview answers, eh?

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Auf Wiedersehn, Bitches

I’m at a hotel at the airport in Berlin, preparing myself, mentally and physically, for the total arse-wipe of a flight to Australia. 3 different planes, 26 hours, and a kick-in-the-balls time change to boot. The excellent consolation is that at the end of it I’ll be in Australia, which is plain awesome, but don’t expect me to not complain about it.

A couple of things to mention. First up, I’m pleased to say I’ll be back in the North-East (of England) this summer, in the form of Ignition Festival, on August 6th. Tickets and information are right here. Also on the gig front, I’m pleased to say that on the day of my show in Brighton for the Great Escape Festival (May 12th), I’ll be doing a talk at 2pm at the Pavilion. I’m not 100% sure what it involves, mainly me talking about life, the universe and everything, with some healthy Q&A sessions at the end. Come join.

Also on the gig front… My 1000th show, in London on April 21st, is nearly sold out now, so if you’re planning on coming I’d get tickets now. There were less than 40 left at the last count. For that show, we’ve got a run of very limited “Frank Turner is 1000 gigs old” shirts, only 200 will ever exist, so get down early and pick one up.

Finally, speaking of 1000 shows… To coincide with the milestone, my good friend David Nicol is selling a print of a shot he took at my first ever solo show, back in September 2004. You can check it out and order one here. Enjoy.

Right, to the plane…

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The Silver Screen

I was recently asked if I’d like to take part in the Relentless Short Stories competition. It’s an annual contest for film makers, they have to make a short film on a certain theme and the winner gets crowned queen of the prom (or something). Anyways, a guy called James Henry decided he wanted to make a film about me, and I agreed to be part of it. We filmed a couple of shows and did some interviewing, and James went away to turn it into a proper piece. I was a little nervous about how it would come out, in all honesty, but I’m very pleased to say that he did a stellar job. I actually felt kind of cool watching it, not a common feeling for me. You should check it out for yourself.

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Argument Winning For Fun & Profit

It turns out that the best way to win an argument with your label about whether or not it’s a good idea to leak a track is to just get on and do it. Everyone’s claiming it was their idea now, haha. Anyways. I’m very pleased that people seem to like the new song I posted yesterday. The reaction has been such that, as of this morning, the good folks at NME.com have the song up for free download, so you don’t have to spend your life listening on YouTube. Check it out here.

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The Julian Assange Of Rock & Roll

I’m finally back from holiday, fully recharged and raring to go. The album countdown proper starts here. There’s a whole lot of news to get through, so let’s get started!

The first news is about the album itself. “England Keep My Bones“, as we know, will be released on June 6th (UK) and 7th (rest of world). Check out the artwork over at my Facebook page. It’ll be available on CD for the most part, but we’re doing a special edition as well – it will have 3 extra songs and special leather-bound packaging. You’ll be able to get both the normal and the extended edition through iTunes, 7Digital and the like as well. We will also be pressing vinyl of the album, though that’s coming a little later.

Pre-order links for the album are starting to appear around the place (you can pre-order a signed special edition copy here, for example). One of the best places to head for is right here. On June 6th I’ll be playing a special show at the Barfly in London. It’s a tiny room, and to get tickets you ust need to pre-order the album from HMV and you’ll be entered into a draw for one of 75 pairs of tickets for the show. Simples, as I’d say if I watched TV, which I don’t.

We will also be releasing a single from the album, naturally. The song “Peggy Sang The Blues” is a tune I wrote for my grandmother, which has had a fair few outings live recently. More details on that release coming soon.

Next up, while I’ve been away, the folks at FTHQ have been confirming festivals in the UK and Germany willy-nilly, so I’ve been posting them up today. I’ll be at Guernsey Festival in July, and Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall in August. In Germany, I’ll be at Oma’s Teich, Taubertal, Rocco Del Schlocko and Open Flair in August. There are more festival announcements coming soon.

Finally, and by no means least… It’s one of the features of the way the music business works that there’s an agonizing time-lag, for a musician, between finishing a piece of work and unleashing it on the world. I can see the point – promotion and preparation are important to me and the label – but it’s still frustrating to be sitting here on a finished record without being able to play it to people. Well, after much wheedling and whining on my part, I think I’ve got the tacit nod to give you guys a sneak preview of one of the new songs. Go here to check out “I Am Disappeared“. I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to do this. If not, well, fuck it. Publish and be damned! Hope you like it.

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Festival Frenzy

So I try and take myself out of the game for a couple of weeks, and predictably enough everything goes batshit insane in the first week of my absence. So after much wrangling, I decided to do one afternoon of work / email stuff, before getting back to my suntan. That makes it sound like I have anything except good news for today. Well, I don’t. Let’s get started.

The first, and biggest, piece of news is about Festivals. I’m very pleased to say that I will be returning once again to this years Leeds (Friday) and Reading (Sunday) Festivals, to play on the main stage. I remember watching Beck and Green Day play the main stage in 1995 and wondering if I’d ever get that far, so I’m pretty fucking stoked. Across the water a little, I’m also now confirmed for Rock Im Park (June 3rd) and Rock Am Ring (4th). See everyone down the front, eh?

Next up, in my absence a number of shows have now sold out – Brooklyn, Melbourne, Los Angeles (the late show – still tickets for the early one), Kingston (ditto), Stockton-on-Tees, Amsterdam (with Social D) and Plymouth. All of which makes me feel pretty popular. Other shows still have tickets (links on the gigs page), but I’d say you’d want to get them sooner rather than later, judging by this bit of news.

Next up, a charity update for you all. My friend Claire’s drive for Alzheimer’s Society went amazingly, we smashed the target and then some. Thanks to everyone who donated, and of course if you want to keep giving to this great cause, you still can. Next up, the secret shows I did in Manchester and Leeds recently were raising money for Leukemia & Lymphoma Research. Laura, who organized the Manchester shows, has set up a page right here where she will be putting the proceeds from the show, and where other people can get involved.

Finally, the album artwork is pretty much done, and in the creation thereof a longstanding conundrum has been solved, I’m pleased to say. After years of looking for a name for the guys in my band, who are a permanent, solid line-up and who are integral to all that I do, we finally have one. Amazingly, suggestions like “The Overdrive Explosion Attack Orchestra” and “The Old Men” were rejected out of hand. But now, I can finally and happily tell you that the band are to be known as The Sleeping Souls. Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls. All hail.

Right, back to the poolside bar!

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Heading Up Country

As many people have already spotted, we’ve added another show to the list in April. On the 2nd, I’ll be playing at The White Rabbit in Plymouth (tickets can be found here) with Cosmo Jarvis. This is partly because there was a south-west sized gap on the dates for the May tour, but also because the good people at the venue have had something of a tough time of late, and I thought I’d lend a hand. Independent venues are one of those rare things in life – an unmitigated force for good – and they deserve support from you and me both. See you down there.

Immediately after that show, I’ll be heading to Germany for a short while, then Australia, then London, then Canada and the USA, then the UK… In short, it’ll be back to my normal ridiculous schedule. I’m excited about getting back onto the road again properly – as of last night the album is officially done, and it’s time to get out there again. All that said, I’ve decided to give myself a break before the madness begins in earnest. So with that in mind, tomorrow I’m going off net, taking a holiday, going walkabout, “me time”, whatever you want to call it. I guess that means I won’t be blogging or tweeting or answering emails for a little while (oh the palpable relief! haha). So don’t get annoyed if I don’t write back for a while, please, I’ll be back with a vengeance next month. Play nice while I’m away!

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Good Deeds

I’ve been gripped by the charitable impulse of late, for some reason. Last weekend saw me marauding around the north of the country – two secret / last minute shows, one in Manchester (which turned into two) and one in Leeds. I’m no saint – the shows were a blast for me as well – but the good news is that we raised some serious cash for a good cause – the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which raises money to fight blood cancers. The cause was suggested by Laura, who organized the Manchester shows, where we raised £1381.98. In Leeds we pulled together roughly £1000 (Felix is still counting the small change, bless him), making for a grand total of at least £2381.98. That made me feel pretty good about both the shows and about the people who came to them.

Continuing down this road, I had a conversation with my friend Claire the other day about the charitable potential of music fans. She works for Alzheimer’s Society, and was being a little skeptical about the whole thing, so a challenge of sorts was raised. We’re aiming to collect £1000 for the Society, using only my online presence. We’re at £300 already, but I want to prove her wrong, as well as raising a load of cash for another incredibly worthy cause. So please do head over here and donate what you can, even if it’s only a fiver. Thanks everyone.

Oh, and to top it all, I performed a brand new song (from the forthcoming album, England Keep My Bones, June 6th!) in Leeds which was filmed and which you can watch right here! Everyone’s a winner.

Back to the more material world of my normal shows, I’m pleased as punch (and slightly overwhelmed) to say that the show in Washington DC in April has now sold out, and quite a few of the other shows on that run are close behind. Thanks America! Also, more of the European shows in June with Social Distortion are selling out too, so get your tickets now. Gig listings are, as ever, in the upcoming gigs section, and there’s a ton of more stuff for the summer that I’ll be announcing soon.

Finally, for today, my old friend Ben (off of TVs Million Dead) is still playing with his mind-shakingly heavy outfit, Pale Horse. They have a new album out, it’s the tits, and you should go here and get a copy yourself. End message!

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Gig #1000

So, Monday was pretty hectic – most of the tour sold out in the first day onsale, which made me feel pretty good about myself, I have to say. There are still a few tickets left for some of the shows, but for the most part it’s already set to be a full house. Thanks everyone who bought tickets, and for those who missed out, do not despair! As well as a ton more festivals, I have another UK tour to announce for November time. Details as soon as I have them will be on here, as ever.

To business. A lot of people have noticed that there isn’t a London show on the tour in May. A lot of people have also noticed that I’m coming up now for my 1000th gig (seriously, I am incapable of pronouncing that word – thousandth – it makes me feel like a French exchange student). It is, I suppose, quite the milestone. I have to say I was slightly at a loss as to how to mark the occasion, but then an idea was suggested by my good friend Jay, who does stuff with Strummerville, the charity foundation set up by friends and family of the late Mr Strummer. They do a spring sessions show every year, with the proceeds going to good causes. Herein lies a great idea – I play, everyone gets to come, and we raise money for worthwhile people. Win, win and indeed win.

So! April 21st this year I’ll be playing the Strummerville Spring Sessions at Hearn Street Carpark in East London. You can get tickets and more information right here. It will be my 1000th gig, and I guess I’ll be marking the occasion with an extra dollop of live awesomeness. See you there.

In a final quick note, my good friends the Retrospective Soundtrack Players have a new single out which you can download for free from their website. Well worth a look in. Right, I’m off to find some of whatever Charlie Sheen has been taking.

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Addenda

The dust is vaguely starting to settle after yesterday’s announcement attack, and in the aftermath we’ve learned a few things. First among these being that I didn’t win the blog award from the NME, it went to Hayley Williams. This means that what you’re reading now is, alas, no longer in with a shot of officially being classified as “not drivel”. Ah well, a boy could dream.

Some other quick notes – these are far from my only shows this year. There’s a lot more coming, pretty much everywhere, after the summer; the summer in itself has a whole load more festival dates to be put in. In particular, I’ll be touring the USA and Canada very extensively in the fall. So before you fire off that “Why aren’t you coming to [insert town] on the next tour IT’S SO UNFAIR” please do cut me a teeny bit of slack.

In less petulant / gripey news, I’m very pleased to say that I can announce the support acts for the UK solo tour in May. Coming with me will be NOT ONLY the fantabulous Mr Franz Nicolay, punk rock cabaret performer extraordinaire, BUT ALSO the spangtacular Mr Ben Marwood, world-class minstrel and Reading survivor. I’m actually really properly excited about having the three of us together on the tour, it’s going to be like The Three Amigos, on Charlie Sheen’s drugs. If you’re not familiar with either of their work, start checking it out now! And remember, tickets will be onsale at 9am on Monday morning…

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