To be Frank, I’m really busy

Frank Turner at the Reading Festival. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Photos
Frank Turner at the Reading Festival. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Photos

Tape Deck Heart

Frank Turner’s latest album

The phrase ‘hardest-working man in show business’ is overused. And more than that, it’s an impossible thing to measure.

But, if there was a league table, you can bet Frank Turner would be up there.

The folk-punk singer has been touring in one shape or another for the past 16 years, whether as part of his short-lived “terrible” school band Kneejerk, the much-missed post-punk band Million Dead or as a solo artist.

He’s heading out on the road again in September, his second UK tour this year. This time, however, there are a few differences. Firstly, the venues Turner and his band, The Sleeping Souls, are performing in are off the beaten path. It’s a nod to the fact Turner, after being born in Bahrain, grew up close to Winchester in the Hampshire village of Meonstoke, and bands very rarely, if ever, came to play nearby.

“It’s also a nod of respect to people who like my music,” he says. “I am aware not everyone lives in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. And people are so entitled these days. As soon as we announced these gigs, people in the cities were saying, ‘There’s nowhere near me’, so I say ‘Yes there is, there’s this place, which is 15 minutes on the train’. Those guys in the sticks have to travel all the time.

“Plus, as well as keeping fans on their toes, it’s more interesting for me and my crew to go to new places, too.”

The other reason Turner’s forthcoming run of shows will be different is that rather than promoting an album - his fifth album Tape Deck Heart came out last year - he and the band are going to be playing all-new songs in preparation for recording their sixth.

His next album is due to be released at the end of February, and will feature one song called Love Forty Down, a metaphor for being in your Thirties and being “rubbish at relationships”, inspired by hearing some friends playing table tennis.