Temporary Tour Flag Adventures

Greetings from a hotel room in Milan. We’ve just arrived after a mammoth journey from Madrid, via Montpellier (and probably some other places beginning with M – I slept through as much of it as I could). Last night we celebrated Ben Lloyd’s birthday, and today I am paying for my sins.

As many of you will know, the last few years have seen a few Tour Flags at my shows. The idea is to have one that starts the tour and follows it, without being carried by me or my crew, just helping people make friends at shows, building a little community idea. It’s been great fun. Since the release of “Positive Songs”, we’ve had one tour flag with us (pictured at Ally Pally), made by the wonderful Val. It travelled the US, UK, northern Europe and Canada (and the cruise) with us, which was amazing.

Val decided that getting that flag around the European shows was too much to organise (quite understandably – I’m still slightly scared of some of the travel schedules we have coming up). So that flag has retired for now. But! But! In a lovely vindication of the principle behind the whole thing, Arabell has made a new flag, and asked me to pass on this message:

“If you see the tour flag, come by, say hi, ask us to take a picture with the flag, post it on instagram/facebook/twitter using the hashtag ‪#‎fthcflag‬ and spread the word. Get involved.
In Ljubljana we’ll meet at Kaverna Kino Siska, a bar at/in the venue in the late afternoon/early evening. In Bratislava we’ll meet at Fabrika the beer pub around 5ish, So just grab a chair and come by.

Feel free to follow the flag on twitter/instagram; we’ll try to keep the feed up to date:
07.04. Milan @federriga
09.04. Ljubljana @federriga @MySuitcaselife
10.04. Bratislava @federriga @MySuitcaselife
13.04. Budapest @turtlemarzi @jsturner89
14.04. Prague @jsturner89 @federriga
15.04. Wroclaw @jsturner89 @federriga @MySuitcaselife
16.04. Warsaw @jsturner89 @federriga @MySuitcaselife”

So, head down, make new friends, play nice. I’m going to relax into what we call “SLUG LIFE” on tour – which basically means putting on the hotel room dressing gown (if there is one) and mainlining room service and Netflix. See you at a show.

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Lo Siento Valencia, Gracias Gijón!

A blog post! Goodness me. I’ve long been planning to start blogging on here agin properly, but life keeps getting in the way. Well, there’s no time like the present, so here we go. I’m planning on posting here every week or two. Nothing special or earth-shattering, just some musings, some tour-diarising, that kind of thing. Enjoy, or don’t, as you fancy.

I write from a sterile hotel room in the outskirts of Madrid on the first day off of this tour. We started four days ago in Barcelona, and have traipsed through Valencia, Santander and Gijón in the meantime. This is our second European tour this year, and it’s the tougher of the two. Essentially, we hit the countries where we play to more than 1,000 people a show, on average, in one bout, in January; now we’re visiting places were crowds are more in the 200-500 range. This makes the technical and financial side of things more efficient, but it also means that this next few weeks will be testing for me and the Sleeping Souls.

In practice, what I’m talking about here is having no luxuries. We have a sleeper bus, it’s true, but we’re down to a minimal crew – Johnny and Cahir on the technical side of things, Tre tour-managing and Martine on merch. We’re using in-venue showers (usually pretty dire), we’re loading in and loading out ourselves, we’re running our own monitors, and so on; everyone has to muck in.

“My diamond slippers are chafing!” I hear you cry. And yes, this is all pretty first-world-problem stuff. Interestingly, it reminds me of tours we did back in 2008 or so in the UK, around “Love Ire & Song”. The difference, I suppose, is that we’ve gotten used to the luxuries of full crew and the extra comforts that bigger venues can afford. We’ve also gotten older and creakier. In a funny way, I’m enjoying the tour because of this. I think it’s reminding me how good I usually have it, and it’s giving me and the band a refresher course in being punk-rock touring machines.

There’s another angle to all this, which is what prompted the idea of a blog post. Playing big shows to rapturous sold-out crowds is wonderful, of course. But you get used to it. With every tour, you have to adjust a little to the setting – whether you’re headline or support, how big the shows are, that kind of thing. At the start of this run I was a little down about some of the shows – in Gijón, for example, we’d only sold about 50 tickets in advance. I’ve become accustomed to playing to larger crowds, and somewhere inside myself I was a little deflated about all this. At the show in Valencia, I was less connected that I like to be for a show, and I should apologise for that.

But, over time, that’s where this tour has been great, because the shows have reminded me to get the fuck over myself. When I was starting touring, in Million Dead, we used to idolise Black Flag, and Henry Rollins’ book “Get In The Van“, where they talked about giving everything you have even if there’s only one person in the audience. That person paid for a show, and goddammit, they deserve one. In Gijón last night (98 people in the room in total!) I was reminded of the wisdom of that approach. Forget the numbers, the facilities, the size of the room; it all comes down to you and an audience, and your job is to communicate, to connect, to create something collective. Last night we did.

So in general, this tour is ace, I’m learning, or relearning, and seeing new things, meeting new people, making the most of it. From here (Madrid) we go across to Italy, thence Slovenia, our first stops in Slovakia and Serbia (which my inner history nerd is having palpitations about), up through Budapest, Prague, Poland and into Scandinavia, by which time I hope to have blogged some more. See you down the front.

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US in-store shows

Ladies and gentlemen! I’m very excited to announce I’ll be playing a series of intimate in-store shows during my US tour in September and October.

Check out the full list below to see if I’ll be swinging by your local emporium. All you have to do for tickets is pick up my new album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ from the relevant store. First come first served.

If you have already purchased a copy of the album from one of these stores, you will still be eligible for a wristband, please bring your receipt.

I’ll be playing live and signing albums at each date – looking forward to seeing you all.

26th Sep – 2pm – Newbury Comics – Boston, MA
29th Sep – 5pm – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY
3rd Oct – 2pm – The Sound Garden – Baltimore, MD
7th Oct – 6pm – Electric Fetus – Minneapolis, MN
9th Oct – 7pm – Twist & Shout – Denver, CO
15th Oct – 7pm – Easy Street Records – Seattle, WA
17th Oct – 2pm – Music Millennium – Portland, OR
24th Oct – 2pm – Fingerprints – Long Beach, CA
25th Oct – 2pm – Zia Records – Phoenix, AZ
27th Oct – 6.30pm – Waterloo Records – Austin, TX
28th Oct – 6.30pm – Good Records – Dallas, TX
29th Oct – 6.30pm – Cactus Music – Houston, TX

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Positive Songs For Negative People out now

The day of judgement has arrived! Well, the day of release of my new record at any rate. Ladies, gentlemen, friends, it is with great pleasure and humble hope that I offer you ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’, my sixth studio album.

I threw everything I’ve got into this one, and with the help of The Sleeping Souls and Butch Walker, I think it might be a good one. I hope you agree. Enjoy.

If you haven’t already you can buy it from iTunes here

Or get the deluxe edition (featuring a bonus disc of acoustic tracks) or the limited edition picture disc at the official store here.

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Next month I’ll be visiting some of the nation’s finest music retailers to play live and celebrate the launch of ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’.

Please come out and support our remaining record stores.

See below for more details on how to attend.

06.08.15 – Banquet Records, Kingston More Info
07.08.15 – HMV, London More Info
10.08.15 – HMV, Manchester More Info
11.08.15 – Rise Music, Worcester More Info
11.08.15 – Rise Music, Bristol More Info
12.08.15 – Rough Trade, Nottingham More Info
13.08.15 – Resident Music, Brighton More Info

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Let’s announce some tour dates then, shall we?

Myself and the Sleeping Souls will be coming to America in September and October of this year, ably supported by Skinny Lister and Beans On Toast.

(These are in addition to the Boston and New York Shows previously announced)

Don’t panic if your town (or indeed state) isn’t on here; travel, make new friends and wend your way to your nearest gig.

An exclusive fan pre-sale starts in just four hours, keep ’em peeled…
Sat 19 – Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls
Sun 20 – Toronto, ON Riot Fest
Tue 22 – Syracuse, NY Lost Horizon
Wed 23 – Burlington, VT Higher Ground
Fri 25 – Boston, MA House of Blues – SOLD OUT
Sat 26 – Boston, MA House of Blues
Mon 28 – New York, NY Irving Plaza – SOLD OUT
Tue 29 – New York, NY Irving Plaza – SOLD OUT
Wed 30 – New York, NY Irving Plaza

Fri 02 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
Sat 03 Baltimore, MD Ram’s Head Live
Sun 04 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
Tue 06 Chicago, IL House of Blues
Wed 07 Minneapolis, MN The Varsity Theater
Fri 09 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre
Sat 10 Boulder, CO The Boulder Theater
Mon 12 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
Tue 13 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
Thu 15 Seattle, WA The Neptune
Fri 16 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
Sat 17 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
Mon 19 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
Tue 20 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Thu 22 Los Angeles, CA The Mayan
Fri 23 San Diego, CA House of Blues
Sat 24 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
Sun 25 Phoenix, AZ The Press Room
Tue 27 Austin, TX Emos
Wed 28 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Thu 29 Houston, TX House of Blues

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To celebrate my new album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ I am happy to announce I will be going on tour later this year.

Thu 05 – Llandudno Venue Cymru Arena
Fri 06 – Southampton O2 Guildhall
Mon 09 – Falmouth Princess Pavilion
Fri 13 – Glasgow Barrowland
Sat 14 – Newcastle University
Sun 15 – Nottingham Rock City
Wed 18 – Birmingham o2 Academy
Thu 19 – Sheffield O2 Academy
Sat 21 – Bristol Colston Hall
Mon 23 – Manchester Academy
Thu 26 – London Alexandra Palace

UK tickets go on general sale from 9am Friday but those of you who pre-order my new album from the Official Frank Turner Store will get exclusive early doors access to pre-sale tickets.

Pre-sale tickets will go on sale 9am this Wednesday.

This isn’t a farewell tour, this isn’t the last few shows we’re ever going to do, this is the UK leg for this year. So don’t panic if your town isn’t on here; travel, make new friends and wend your way to your nearest gig. There will be more in the future…

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It’s with great joy that I can announce my new album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ will be released worldwide on 7th August 2015 and is now available to pre-order.

My first single is ‘The Next Storm’ and you can watch the video here. As you can see, we somehow managed to convince legendary wrestler and UFC fighter CM Punk to take me on. I won. Nothing staged about it, your honour.

Full tracklisting can be found below.

1. The Angel Islington
2. Get Better
3. The Next Storm
4. The Opening Act Of Spring
5. Glorious You
6. Mittens
7. Out Of Breath
8. Demons
9. Josephine
10. Love Forty Down
11. Silent Key
12. Song For Josh

1. Get Better (Acoustic)
2. The Next Storm (Acoustic)
3. The Opening Act Of Spring (Acoustic)
4. Glorious You (Acoustic)
5. Mittens (Acoustic)
6. Out Of Breath (Acoustic)
7. Demons (Acoustic)
8. Josephine (Acoustic)
9. Love Forty Down (Acoustic)
10. Silent Key (Acoustic)

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No Sleep Til Holloway

Last month, I did a short UK Book Tour. Some of you may have caught it. On the tour, I brought along my friend Ian Winwood – music journalist and author – to ask me questions on stage and oversee the Q&A section. Our public chats were so much fun – an extension of our private natterings, basically – that we decided to try our hand at doing a podcast – No Sleep Til Holloway. Neither of us have ever recorded a podcast before, so the jury is still very much out as to whether or not we are any good at this. But anyway. Here it is, episode 1!

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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.


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