If I may twist a favourite quote from Hemingway:
Write hard and clear about what you know.
I know Frank Turner’s music. I go to his shows, buy the merchandise and generally know where he is and what he’s up to (mostly thanks to Twitter, and not in a stalker-ish way). I love his music and what he’s about. I have several favourite songs, which I never EVER tire of listening to (it takes something special to never make you want to press ‘skip’, I think), have been to a fair few shows (Winchester, Oct 09, was amazing, if you’re interested) and like to read interviews, blog posts and general Frank Turner news.
As I was listening to one of his albums earlier, it suddenly struck me why I have such an affinity with Frank Turner – I’ve grown up with him ever since my teenage gig-going days, although I can’t quite believe I’m old enough to talk about my “teenage” years, such is life! The difference between Frank and other bands I’ve grown up with like Muse, Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, or any of the many bands I’ve grown up with and grown out of, is that Frank’s lyrics have grown up with me too.
I’ll admit my memory of the order of events is somewhat fuzzy, I guess I never knew I’d be wanting to write a blog post about it, but it went something like this:
At some point, when I was younger than old enough to have something better to do but older than too young to go to gigs every week, going to gigs became what I did. I don’t remember all of these, and I definitely couldn’t single out seeing Million Dead from the others, but I’m sure I did because, cool kid that I am, I still have all my ticket stubs.
- In 2006, still going to gigs (although slightly less religiously, if I remember rightly) I saw Frank en solo at the Ski Lodge in Yeovil, Somerset, at an “all dayer”, it was ace, and I still remember standing at the front having a whale of a time.
- I bought Campfire Punkrock and played it on repeat.
- The Real Damage came along and became the soundtrack to an undefined period of time in my teenage years: waking up in Somerset not quite sure where, squashed cigarettes, long summers, parties, friends, gigs and more gigs.
Five years on, Photosynthesis is my current anthem.
“And it’s obvious my angry adolescent days are done, and I’m happy and I’m settled in the person I’ve become.”
I decided posting the complete lyrics would be a bit cliché, but you can see them on Frank’s website here (along with those for all the rest of his songs, which are all worth a read. And a sing. I find they are at their best when belted out full volume when driving along the motorway on the way home from work. Or at one of his gigs, obviously). Photosynthesis is on every mix cd, usually closely followed by I Still Believe, and is listened to whenever I’m having a bit of a wobble as to where I am, where I’m headed and where I want to be.
Frank’s next album, England Keep My Bones is out next month. I’m already loving “Peggy Sang the Blues” (have a watch and listen here) and though I didn’t manage to get tickets for any of his shows this year (although, in some weird way I feel all emotional and stoked for him that I didn’t get tickets because his gigs sold out SO DAMN QUICKLY. Must feel pretty amazing), I can’t wait to hear it and become addicted to whichever of Frank Turner’s many, many fantastic tunes will become part of the soundtrack to the next part of my life.