Review: Frank Turner is everything I ever want to be

Frank Turner

I am not ashamed to admit I adore everything about Frank Turner. He’s one of the rare (perhaps only) artists I ever saw multiple times in Shanghai (twice!), so already I appreciate the wits of someone willing to pack it up, head on over, and probably only ever break even for their “Asian tour.” I liked him with Million Dead, I liked him solo, and I especially like him now with The Sleeping Souls.


Frank Turner (all photos by Meredith Cox)

I love the way grown, British men react when Frank starts to play “I Am Disappeared” and they alternate wildly between sobbing but also shout-singing the lyrics back to Frank as if he’s the only man who has every understood them.

I love that it feels like he wants to be there at the show (let’s be real: not every artist is like this).

At the most recent show I saw him play at Emo’s, and at every show and video clip I’ve ever seen of him, it looks like there’s no where else in the world he would rather be than on stage, playing for us, right at that very moment.

Emo's, home of the truest bathroom graffiti.

Emo’s, home of the truest bathroom graffiti ever. Fuck yo,u Baxter.

And that can’t be true, right? Even if you LOVE your job, sometimes it’s still a job, and you’re tired or you’re ill or you’re just sick of playing “I Am Disappeared” for the millionth time that tour and Frank must feel that way, but I’ve never seen it. Has anyone ever been to a bad Frank Turner show? His bad shows must be like urban myths.

I love that at every show, he not only plays the new stuff, but he plays the old stuff, too. Then he plays the middle stuff. He even plays covers of Queen and Bruce Springsteen and then when he comes through Austin he plays Townes Van Zandt songs and people in Austin go fucking nuts over this guy because it’s flawless.

I love the sappy, sentimental, feel-good songs about England and Love and Friendship. I love the sad ones about Love and Meaninglessness and Death and Rivers.

Frank Turner with The Sleeping Souls @ Emo's

Frank Turner with The Sleeping Souls @ Emo’s

He doesn’t take himself seriously even though he’s still such a seriously influential musician. He’s funny and witty and self-deprecating and super chatty during shows which I adore.

I like that the title of his latest album called Positive Songs for Negative People because yes, Frank. YES.

IMG_20151027_223731256Plus, the guy’s just so cool. Like, he’s a cool rock/folk/punk musician guy who shills for cancer research midway through his show and is covered with tattoos and is so fantastically thin and handsome in that rock star way and funny and self-aware and realizes he’s got one of the best jobs in the world and he’s not squandering that, and ON TOP OF THAT he manages to be a phenomenal songwriter, musician and performer, apparently with quite a lot of staying power.

He’s back on tour; check out the dates here. Not to be missed at any date, any time, any tour.

Frank Turner performed at Emo’s Austin on October 27, 2015.

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