If the repeated and fevered rantings from our musical elite in recent years is anything to go by, our grassroots offering is in a bit of a pickle.
It’s easy to slate in an effort to appear relevant in the eyes of the tabloids, I guess… without naming names. What’s also easy is actually making an effort to listen to some breaking and contemporary artists. Thankfully, for every self-professed megastar too out of touch to set foot in a venue smaller than an arena, there’s a few a little more grounded.
It’s still refreshing, though, to see someone with an unquenchable thirst for gigs sitting up and paying attention to what’s actually going on around them. Enter Frank Turner, whose live show archive website section I’ve linked here to reinforce my point.
Frank was kind enough to find a minute mid-hectic tour schedule and give us his (nicely varied) top steers at the moment!
The Homeless Gospel Choir
I encountered Derek on tour a few years back, and we became friends. I’ve always been a fan, but his latest record, “Normal”, is a stone-cold masterpiece. A perfect mixture of punk, folk, anger and nostalgia.
We had DF play at the first Lost Evenings Festival, last May, in Camden. They blew me away live even more than on record. Furious feminist punk rock, completely unique and unapologetic.
Sean comes from Southampton, just down the road from where I grew up, so we’ve known each other a little while. He’s a great songwriter, a ton of heart and a turn of phrase that I envy. His new album, on Xtra Mile soon, is excellent.
A lot of people know of Daniel from a TV show. I just heard his music through my tour manager being a fan, and instantly fell in love with it. The show I caught in London recently was an absolute delight, sheer joy and showmanship with wonderful songs.
Arkells and I have shared a lot of road together already, and we have more coming up. They’re huge in their home country of Canada (and rightly so), but still making waves in other parts of the world. They deserve to be the biggest band in the universe, they’ve been a big influence on me lately.
Frank has just wrapped up a tour with his hardcore band Möngöl Hörde. He’ll be playing a benefit show for Safe Gigs For Women as part of Independent Venue Week on Saturday 3rd February. His latest release ‘Songbook’ is available now!
Cover image: Partisan PR