Friday, 20 April 2012

12 OF THE BEST: Frank Turner

So here continues a new weeky series where each will I will select twelve fine tracks by a great artist or band for your listening pleasure. This weekly feature will hopefully introduce unfamiliar listeners to music they may not have yet heard, although a lot of this music will already be familiar to a lot of other people.

The subject of this week's 12 Of The Best is a singer songwriter who I consider to be one of the greatest solo artists of his age (although he hates called an "artist"). This man is Frank Turner, who I first heard on Radio One's Punk Show almost five years ago. A short while later I watched him play in Bristol, supporting The Levellers and third act down the bill. Meeting Frank afterwards was a pleasure, as I congratulated him on his fantastic album 'Love Ire And Song' and he told me about the new songs he was writing, which about a year so later became his third album 'Poetry Of The Deed'. Now headlining huge gigs at Wembley Arena, his profile has deservedly grown and while he continues to attract new fans, his old supporters still remain loyal. So here are twelve of Frank's finest moments. 

1. The Real Damage. Still a fan's favourite, and a brilliant snapshot of a heavy weekend and a startling realisation. 

2. Worse Things Happen At Sea is one of the most vitriolic and bitter post-break up songs you'll ever hear 

3. The Huntsman Comes A Marching a brilliant live acoustic cover of a track originally written by the excellent Chris T-T. Turner injects even more anger and humour into this brilliant slice of political commentary. 

4. Love Ire And Song details the feelings of an ageing anarchist whose punk days are a faded memory, having packed all his pamphlets with his "bibles at the back of the shelf". A classic. 

5 Substitute is a touching, uplifting and beautiful moment from that excellent 2008 album. 

6. Long Live The Queen, also from his wonderful second album is a tribute to a departed friend and is one of Turner's most moving and emotionally overwhelming moments. 

7. The Road, the lead single from his third studio album 'Poetry Of The Deed', this jaunty travelling anthem delivers a hugely infectious chorus. 

8. Try This At Home is a straight forward punk rock tune with a touch of folk, and encourages listeners to embrace the DIY ethic. "There's no such thing as rock stars there's just people who play music,and some of them are dicks". Smart and simply excellent stuff. 

9. I Still Believe is a powerful folk-rock anthem that again exhibits Turner's songwriting skills and provides a truly rousing moment. 

10. Rivers is beautiful, clever and wears its Englishness proudly. Stunning.

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