1001 – A Radio Odyssey

It’s raining in Toronto. This is particularly galling because when I left London the weather was unseasonably delightful. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’m back on the North American continent, which is always a delightful thing. Also, after the triumphant chaos that was my 1000th show in London the other day, I played my 1001st last night, and celebrated with my tour manager Jimmy giving me a prison-style tattoo (hand-pricked, no gun) in the hotel afterwards. Rock, and indeed roll.

Today is, for the UK at least, radio D-Day, and there is much to discuss. First of all, the new single, “Peggy Sang The Blues“, is getting its first plays on air tonight. First of all my old pal Zane Lowe will be spinning the tune on his show between 7 and 8 tonight on BBC Radio One. After that it’ll be getting plays on XFM and Kerrang Radio too. All of which is ace. To coincide with all that, the song will be available to buy from UK iTunes pretty much straight after that, so check the link.

Also, for the UK, here are the pre-order links for the album, each of which has its own individual super-powers. The Amazon link gets you a special edition with a signed sleeve. The HMV link enters you for a chance to get tickets to the Barfly show on June 6th. And the Banquet Records people will treat you right and support independent music and record shops. Take your pick.

For those outside the UK, tonight at 9pm UK time (4pm EST) the good people at Spin.com will be putting “Peggy” up to stream on their website for everyone to check out. Enjoy! Also, if you want to pre-order the record (and I hope you do..!) you can now get it on CD and vinyl from the Kings Road online store, complete with exclusive shirts.

Next on the agenda: we’re looking for some people (from the UK again) to help out with album promotion. Basically, we’ll send you some stickers, posters and the like, and you pester the living shit out of your nearest and dearest. If that interests you at all, here’s what you do: send a mail to fan.support@pias.com, with the subject line “Frank Turner Album Attack“, and include your name and what town / city / village / prison / rural settlement you live in. After that we’ll get back to you and let you know the score. Thanks!

Finally, online merch. We’ve been having some teething problems with the Kings Road store, not least with shipping costs to the UK. I’m not unaware of the problem and we’ve been working on sorting it out. I think we have it down now, and there’s also some new designs in there, so do check it out.

I think that’s everything for today. Things are really starting to gear up for the new record right now, which is exciting for me, so expect further manic updates from hotel rooms across America in the coming days.

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I Know What Time It Is

I’m back in London, and the weather is glorious. Thankfully most of today’s interviews are to be done on the phone, which means I can sit on a step in the sunshine and enjoy the weather. Blissful. The journey home from Australia was punishing (36 hours door to door in the end), and while I felt a bit fucked yesterday, this morning I woke up to a small part of my brain shouting “See! I fucking told you this is what the time was!” I don’t think I ever properly acclimatized to Aussie time, so I’m not feeling to shabby. Huzzah!

Speaking of Australia, man, what a time. Everyone was super awesome as per usual, in particular friends Jen Buxton and Isaac Graham. The shows were a blast and I was sad to leave. I’ll be back as soon as is feasible, hopefully with the band in tow next time.

Some show announcements (what else?). First of all, I will not, I’m sad to say, be appearing at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. I know a lot of people are disappointed about that – I am too. I can’t really go into the mechanics of the booking process this year, but I do want to state for the record that this isn’t some malicious attack on Glasto punters by me. I really wanted to play this year but it didn’t work out. Sorry everyone. Instead, I will be playing the extra Hamburg show with Social Distortion on June 23rd. See you there, Germans!

In other happier news, I’ll be playing a free instore show at the HMV Brighton at 4pm in the afternoon of my show there for the Great Escape (May 12th). That’s as well as the talk at 2pm. Gonna be a busy day.I’ll also be on the main stage at this year’s Kendal Calling on the Sunday night (July 31st) with my band.

Final show news of today – I’m coming back to Poland! Hurrah! This time it’ll be with my band. We’re playing Club Meskalina in Poznan on Sunday June 5th. I’ll have ticket links and will post them soon. I love Poland, so this is good.

Finally, I guy called Dan is working on a photo project right now, and it’s awesome, and he needs your help. I’ll let him flesh out the details on his site, but I’d recommend everyone to head over there now. That’s all from me today, back to the interview storm!

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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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