On Friday the 13th April 2012, Frank Turner took to the stage at Wembley’s vast Arena venue for the largest headline show of his life.
This career defining show took place less than two years after his first appearance at Wembley in June 2010 supporting Green Day at the enormous Stadium across the way. And in that short time – Frank has seen his life change beyond recognition…
Having won the Kerrang! Spirit Of Independence Award a month later Frank spent the rest of 2010touring extensively not just in the UK, Europe and America but also as far afield as New Zealand, Australia and China, finally closing the year with a phenomenal sold out Brixton Academy show.
He started 2011 with two NME Award nominations, and a run of special intimate solo shows that harked back to his tentative beginnings six years ago.
And then on 6th June, Frank stormed the UK Album Charts going in at Number 12, with the release of his fourth studio album ‘England Keep My Bones’.Recorded in Crouch End’s stunning Church Studios, Frank laid down fifteen tracks with his band The Sleeping Souls - Ben, Nigel, Tarrant and Matt - and producer Tristan Ivemy for a record with a quintessential English sound, a nostalgic homage to his homeland, friends and family.
With the acoustic guitar very much at its core, the album is more folk orientated than predecessor ‘Poetry Of The Deed’ and includes an a cappella song done in a traditional English style. Featuring contributions from ex-Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay, folk singers Emily Barker and Chris T-T, and Unbelievable Truth’s Andy Yorke, he covers themes of mortality, relationships and religion in what is a bold, ballsy yet beautiful album. Spawning 4 singles – ‘I Still Believe’, ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’, ‘If Ever I Stray’ and the current track ‘Wessex Boy’, it is Frank’s most successful album to date, selling over 50,000 copies worldwide.
The summer saw Frank embark on a season full of UK, US and European festival appearances, from headliningthe Third Stage at Download Festival in June, headlining Blissfields Festival inJuly to a show-stopping and triumphantMain Stage performance at Reading and Leeds Festival in August. Since then he has been winning over the hearts and minds of North America on a full band tour ripping it up across the States and Canada and has returned to the UK and Europe for his biggest headline tour ever, with sold out shows at Manchester Apollo, Birmingham Academy and the famous Hammersmith Apollo in London. And that’s not to mention the two awards Frank just won at the inaugural AIM Awards – Best Live Act and Hardest Working Artist.
It’s a far cry from his tentative beginnings five years ago when, after the demise of previous band Million Dead, Frank took to the road as a fledgling solo artist armed only with an acoustic guitar. With a DIY work ethic, and a passion for plying his trade with integrity and honesty Frank toured up and down the country playing backs of pubs, people’s front rooms and anywhere else that would have him. With a handful of catchy folk/country/punk songs and enough charm and charisma to win over any crowd, he amassed more and more fans and a fevered cult following soon formed.
With the support and backing from Indie label Xtra Mile Recordings in the UK, Frank has slowly but surely blossomed from an underground hero to a bona fide mainstream success story. And this is now starting to be echoed internationally with the help from US indie label Epitaph Records who Frank signed to in 2009. Having released previous albums ‘Poetry Of The Deed’ and ‘Love Ire & Song’ and got Frank out on the road on US tours with the Offspring and Social Distortion, Frank’s popularity across the Atlantic is growing and growing selling out his own headlining shows including two nights at New York’s Bowery Ballroom.
It’s been a long journey but Frank’s path to total world domination continues apace.