Frank Turner values his loyal fan base. For that he must be applauded. 'The Third Three Years', as the title suggests, is the third such release mopping up demos, covers and unreleased material. By its very nature this compilation is aimed squarely at those that are already on the Turner bandwagon, predominantly those who haven't explored any further than his studio albums. If this is to be Frank's very own 'Bootleg Series', then the period before and after last year's record 'Tape Deck Heart' seems slightly less fruitful than the material presented on the previous two compilations. In honesty, I think it's more a reflection of the tracklisting itself than the additional material he's produced in the last 36 months, there just seem to be some obvious omissions here.
That there is a distinct focus on acoustic material isn't a problem. It highlights Turner's interest in traditional folk and the strength of his song writing on the stripped down versions of his own songs. However, it is a shame the absence of his band 'The Sleeping Souls' means there's little of the electricity of his recent full band shows and 'Tape Deck Heart' on show here. Perhaps, then, it's best to think of this as a scrapbook rather than a comprehensive representation of Turner's talents.
It's not that 'The Third Three Years' isn't worth your time, it is. However, last time Turner compiled his material in this way we were treated to the bonus 'deluxe edition' tracks from 'England Keep My Bones'. Unfortunately, the equivalent material from 'Tape Deck Heart' is notable by its absence. Equally, 'The Polaroid Picture EP' only gets one entry here, despite containing a number of covers more worthy of inclusion than the likes of Noel Coward's 'The Bad Times Are Just Around The Corner' or the carbon copy of Queen's 'Somebody To Love'. Although the covers are invariably the weakest part of this compilation, they're not all forgettable. Tom Petty's 'American Girl' which is previously unreleased is heartbreaking, and the piano balladry of Cory Branan's 'The Corner' is haunting.
Continue reading: Frank Turner - The Third Three Years Album Review
Catching up with Frank Turner is a bit like trying to chase a whirlwind. Packing in two live shows at Live At Leeds as well as a DJ set, he throws himself headfirst into everything he does with an aggressive passion, yet still manages to cultivate a 'friendly guy' image amongst his fans and in the industry. Though aside from being a modest and articulate fellow with a penchant for creative swearing, Frank is bluntly honest, philosophical and startlingly intelligent with plans to start work on his follow up to the acclaimed 'Tape Deck Heart' and sock it to sixteen year old naysayers.
Contactmusic: Hello Frank, how're you doing today?
Frank Turner: I'm alright, just having a bit of an 'arghhh' hectic day. I was DJing in Northampton last night and travelled up today. I'm DJing in Leeds tonight at Propaganda which is actually the reason I'm here. I really don't consider myself to be a DJ but they seem very keen on paying me lots of money to come and play songs that I like off a laptop for an hour. But I do get really into it; I have a bit of a dance, I sing along.
The Live At Leeds people noticed that I was going to be here today and said, 'Do you wanna play a gig as well?' so I said 'Yes, very much so' because, actually, I'm a musician and I like playing music so that's fine.
Continue reading: Frank Turner - Interview at Live At Leeds 2014
A week in music videos... Kanye West has been doing a lot of promotion for his edgy, rock-infused track 'Black Skinhead' (or 'BLKKK SKKKN HEAD' as it's otherwise known'), the lead single from his US and UK number one album 'Yeezus', so his anger when the unfinished video directed by Nick Knight was leaked earlier in July was unsurprising. He described the unauthorised distribution as 'heartbreaking' and no wonder; a video as unique as this was definitely worthy of a grand entrance but, nonetheless, the spoiler has definitely not affected the viewing experience.Watch the video for BLKKK SKKKN HEAD here.
French house star Kavinsky has already become a hit in his home nation with his debut album 'OutRun', released earlier this year, reaching number 2 in the charts and he's certainly turning heads overseas too. Teaming up with Canadian producer The Weeknd on one of his newest singles, Kavinsky delivers a driving dance beat with 'Odd Look' - the single from his new EP of the same name. The track also features on his album as a collaboration with fellow electronic musician SebastiAn. Listen to Odd Look here.
With his star already in the ascendancy, last year's inspired Olympic call up by nearly-Sir Danny Boyle to spearhead the introduction of 'The Isles Of Wonder' has merely served as a supercharged catapult for Eton's own Frank Turner. Since the release of his breakthrough album, 'England Keep My Bones' in 2011, Turner has sold out Wembley Arena (Somewhat ironically supported by his surrogate father of impassioned and poetic punk-prone folk, Billy Bragg), stood atop 'Glastonbury Tor' belting out a stirring rendition of 'I Still Believe' and set up his own Hardcore sideline project Mongol Horde.
Having covered off England in his previous release, 'Tape Deck Heart' - his latest of five albums to date - is described more as a 'break-up' album, although references to particular English cornerstones of Frank's are still carefully woven through the tapestry of his newest songs.
From Battersea to Highgate and back to Shoreditch we traverse the capital as Frank pours his heart out and bares his soul for our musical pleasure.
Continue reading: Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart Album Review
A Week in Videos... Undoubtedly the most eagerly-anticipated video of the week comes from Daft Punk, who return to the scene with ‘Get Lucky.’ Featuring Pharrell on vocals and the legend that is Nile Rogers on guitar, the track has already broken daily play records on Spotify and quickly became one of the most talked-about tracks online. A classic in the making, Roger’s distinctive guitar sound lends the track an authentic disco edge.
Heavy on the expletives, low on production costs, this Frank Turner video for ‘Plain Sailing Weather’ sees the angry troubadour continuing the confessional vibes of his last single ‘Recovery.’ Playing with his band in a church, the track begins with Frank playing alone, with his guitar, before the band kick in with him for the chorus.
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls embarks on the UK leg of his worldwide tour ahead of the release of his album 'Tape Deck Heart'.
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls at Glasgow's O2 Academy
Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls took to Glasgow's O2 Academy for his second UK date out of six on his major world tour.
The folk guitarist grabbed the nation's attention when he performed at the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics last summer and now he's spreading the music worldwide, landing in the UK this week and playing an amazing set in Glasgow on Thursday (April 18th 2013). It was the singer's second date in the UK on this tour where he was supported by the American bluegrass band Larry and His Flask and London folk artist George Frakes. Turner certainly didn't hold back at the prestigious venue, and seemed blissfully both unaware and uncaring of the whacky performance faces he was pulling. That's what we like - someone who's most comfortable when playing guitar in a 2,500 capacity venue.
Frank Turner - Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, who played at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics, playing the second of only 6 dates in the UK at the O2 Academy - Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom - Thursday 18th April 2013
It's refreshing to find an artist that celebrates their musical heritage, no matter how unfashionable it may seem at first glance. In Frank Turner's case an appreciation of his very British roots and traditional folk music has allowed him to stand head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries. New compilation The Second Three Years is the perfect demonstration of that sensibility, while tipping his hat to his influences and heroes along the way.
Continue reading: Frank Turner, The Second Three Years Album Review