Raised on punk and armed with an acoustic guitar, English troubadour Frank Turner isn’t afraid to take his live shows off the beaten track. In fact he relishes the opportunity.
“I’ve been to Australia before,” Turner says, referring to the tour he did of the southern capitals a couple of years ago, “but I haven’t been outside of the flight circle that everybody does when they visit Australia. I’ve never been to the Northern Territory.
“I’m slightly like a magpie when it comes to locations,” he continues. “I like collecting them.”
Turner has been collecting locations at a relentless pace since he hit the road solo in 2005, following the break up of UK-based punk band Million Dead. In April last year, Turner celebrated his thousandth solo show. Such effort has paid off: at the time of this interview, he and backing band The Sleeping Souls are preparing to headline the massive Wembley Arena in London, to thousands of fans. Meanwhile latest album England, Keep My Bones entered the UK chart at number 12 upon its release last year.
Turner’s Darwin Railway Club show doesn’t mark his only stop off in Australia’s north. The intrepid Englishman also has solo sets booked in Alice Springs, Townsville and Cairns.
Turner credits meeting people as an important part of touring: “I have a reputation of trying to make myself accessible,” he admits, agreeing that a political sentiment informs this attitude: “That speaks from growing up with punk rock, basically. I may not be making music that is strictly punk anymore,” Turner says, adding that he sees his music as “closer to country” these days, “but those ideas that came out of the punk scene are still very important to me, and they’re still how I try to organise my life.”
Off The Leash, May 2012 issue, p20