It was a sold out kind of night last night in Cleveland thanks to a couple of events that were going on. First there was the sold out Cleveland Cavaliers game going on at the Quicken Loans Arena. It was Sunggie night after all so you know everyone and their mother wanted to get a glorified Cavs robe and cheer on the hometown team. Apparently a new Guinness World Record was set for the most ridiculous looking people all in one place at one time. I’m sorry but being part of “largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets” is not something that I want to think about in Cleveland on a Friday night.
Luckily for me and many other folk there was something much better going on just around the corner at the House Of Blues sans the Snuggies. UK artist Frank Turner and some Celtic punk rock band called Flogging Molly were playing a sold out show and I was a part of it. There was Guinness there too, the kind that is best served in pint glasses.
With many shows I attend I usually focus on the headlining act. Where I am a fan of Flogging Molly and always will be, this night was all about me seeing Frank Turner live for the first time. I am pretty sure I am the only person who was more excited for the one time punk rocker turned folk rock musician over the Irish punkers.
Opening act The Architects from Kansas City, MO started off the night with a bang. Having never heard of them before they grabbed my attention with their straight forward rock n roll styles. The foursome had great stage presence and the crowd rewarded them with constant approval. I later learned that three of the members of the band used to be in the ska act The Gadjits. featuring the three Phillips brothers. After hearing the Architects’ set I never would have fathomed them being in a ska band prior. Great set by a great band I hope to hear more from in the future.
To say I was excited when Frank Turner and his nameless band took the stage would be an understatement. With smiles on all of the band member’s faces they broke into “The Road” which just sounded amazing live. I am sure it is safe to say not a lot of the people packed into the House Of Blues knew who Turner was but after just a couple songs in the crowd soon learned about the UK sensation who openly admitted that it was his first time in Cleveland as well as offered apologies if the set sucked at he was fighting a nasty cold.
Pointing to the crowd for a volunteer Turner chose a young fan to play harmonica on “Dan’s Song” knowing fully that the kid never played the harp in his life. With a quick lesson Turner played the song alone on acoustic guitar and gave the honorary band member of the night “the look” when it was time for him to play. Sure it did not sound like the recorded version or anything close to it but it was hilarious.
Armed with his acoustic guitar Turner continued the night along with his band playing like it was his most important show of his career. He proudly yelled “Hello, Cleveland” to the crowd and fought his illness through each song. It was apparent how ill he was feeling but he kept trucking along through the set that included “Poetry Of The Deed” as well as “Love, Ire, & Song” as well as “Back In The Day”.
From where I planted my feet the fans around me all seemed to enjoy Turner who let many in on a little secret telling them all that is was not actually a folk artist but a punk rocker who plays folk music. Closing the night out with “Photosynthesis” I could only hope for a headlining show the next time Turner and crew come back to Cleveland. They put on a great show and I am thrilled to be able to say I saw Turner live finally.
Without a doubt everyone was Irish for the night as Flogging Molly is notoriously known for spreading the Irish cheer around with their likable Celtic punk rock sing along jams. Once the seven-piece took the stage it was clear how many people were packed into the venue to see them. Fueled mainly on Jamison and Guinness the crowd showed no sign of calming down throughout the set. Entertaining as always, Dave King pranced around the stage with Nathan Maxwell slapping the bass and the rest of the crew just playing a solid strong set.
I stayed for about the first half of the set and will try and post Flogging Molly’s set list on here the moment I find it. Remember, I was there for Frank Turner, so once things started getting really crazy I packed up and headed towards the exit. I have nothing against Flogging Molly at all but I have seen them multiple times and really am used to the good times they exhume. Being a proud Irishman myself I know all too well what an evening of Irish music and stouts can do to my body so I chose to play it safe. I am pretty sure not many followed my idea and are still battling the Irish flu today.
Speaking of flu it was reported by Frank Turner himself on Twitter that he had to pull from the Detroit show tonight so I am even more pleased I was able to see him last night.
Here is his Tweet he posted:
@fthc – MotherF***ER. Very sad to say I’ve got to pull tonight’s show in Detroit. Sick as a dog, no voice. A thousand apologies.
Get well soon Frank Turner and thank you for fighting through your amazing set last night in Cleveland. It was a highlight to my year.
Frank Turner Set: The Road
Try This At Home
Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
Sons Of Liberty
Poetry Of The Deed
Love, Ire, & Song
Back In The Day
(I may have missed a song or entered the wrong one. Corrections always welcomed.)
I can not even begin to tell you how excited I am about this post. I had the pleasure today to interview Frank Turner through email and could not be happier. If anyone knows me, Frank Turner is a big deal to me. I have to admit my appreciation for me grew to unmeasurable amounts after I heard his latest release Poetry Of The Deed.
I confess, the name Frank Turner was not fresh in my mind beforehand when I heard that album. I continually smack myself in the head still as I could not put two and two together when listening to it at the time and realizing he was the guy in the UK post-hardcore, now defunct, act Million Dead. I knew of Frank Turner but prior to his last release was not aware of his solo material.
Some music fan I am right? Regardless I am a huge fan of Frank Turner so it only made sense for me to try and set up an interview with him. It was easier for us both just to do it over the email and I must say no one has ever replied faster than him.
Such a proud moment for me here. Let me take a moment and soak in all that is awesome for what I am about to share…
Ok I am better.
BHP – Before I even begin, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. I know you have been a busy man for quite some time touring and all. How long have you actually been on tour now?
FT – Actually I just took 3 weeks off, which is the longest time I’ve gone without playing a show for about 6 years now. I did my first tour when I was 16, and have been pretty much constantly on the road since 2004. It’s great. Answering questions is no bother.
Were you been able to take any breaks prior?
I get little breaks here and there, and like I say I’ve just had quite a bit of time off (by my standards). I get very claustrophobic if I stay in the same place for more than a few days, I think I’ve rewired my brain now, haha. So when I’m not touring or in the studio, I generally find excuses to get on a train or a plane and go visit some friends or something.
I along with many of your other fans have been able to keep tabs on you thanks to your Facebook/Twitter posts. How important is it to be more personal to the fans?
What I like about stuff like Facebook and Twitter is that it pulls aside the curtain on rock’n’roll. I was never that taken with the whole business of mythologizing what it means to be a musician. I like to let people know what the realities of life on the road are like, and to point out that I’m no different from anyone who listens to my music. That’s the strength of the whole web 2.0 thing.
How stressful does it get traveling overseas from the US to the UK and beyond on any given date?
I don’t find it particularly stressful at all – in fact I find it quite liberating, and I find being in the same place quite stressful. I mean, transatlantic flights are always going to be a drag, but it’s a small price to pay. Whenever I get to go to new places I haven’t been to before solely on the basis that I play guitar, I think it’s absolutely wonderful, if a little insane. I pinch myself occasionally.
Seems like 2009 was your year to get noticed thanks to the release of Poetry Of The Deed. How does it feel to have a growing fan base?
It feels great. Without wanting to sound defensive, I’ve worked really hard in the last few years at what I do, to make the best albums and to play as many shows as I can. It’s a great feeling to see hard work pay off, and to see some of the dreams I’ve had since I was a kid start to come true. It’s as awesome as you’d imagine it to be. I’m very privileged to be in these shoes right now.
What prompted you to go into a more so acoustic solo career once Million Dead disbanded or was that something in the works prior to the band’s ending?
I think that when that band ended, in a lot of stress and recrimination and so on, I was just done with hardcore as a sound. I felt like I’d poured everything into that band, and when it didn’t work, I needed to do something different. I’d started listening to folk, country and so on quite extensively in the last few years of the band’s existence, and when it ended, well, it seemed like a good way to go. It also meant I could stay on tour without having to put a band together, without having to rely on other people, something I was very wary to do at the time.
So have you spoken to any of the members? Or were the differences that led to the band’s departure more personal and evident of a reunion never to happen?
We’re all on at least reasonable terms now. The drummer and I are firm friends. It’s all water under the bridge now – that was a very intense band to be in, but now that we’re all clear and the dust has settled, it doesn’t matter as much. There won’t be a reunion though, I’ll say that for sure. I’m just not interested in looking back like that.
Who are your musical influences these days?
These days I tend to bore into a handful of bands at a time, get really obsessed with them, and they influence my thinking about music.
Springsteen has been an overshadowing presence in my music for the last few years, but more recently I’m super-into Loudon Wainwright III. He’s fucking amazing.
What bands have you been listening to as of late?
Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Neil Young again because I’m reading a book about him. Beyond that, I’ve finally got into the latest Weakerthans album (which I’m fast starting to think is their best). Also Crazy Arm, who are coming on tour with me in Europe in March and April, and Ben Marwood, a friend of mine who puts me to shame with his excellence in songwriting.
I heard that Flogging Molly recently asked you to join them on tour. What was your initial reaction when they asked you?
I thought it was great, very flattering. And then I found out how popular they are in the States, and I was blown away. The shows we’re doing are biiiig.
Anyone else you would like to mention that you are touring with in 2010?
I’m happy that I’m going to be returning a favour in March – Chuck Ragan has taken me out in the USA and been a great friend and inspiration to me in recent years, and now he’s coming out on my next UK tour, which is a big one – 3000 people a show or so – so it feels good to be paying that one back. I’m also excited about Revival Australia – I’ve never been there before, and I get to play more shows with Tim Barry, someone I can’t get enough of right now.
Are you still going to play house shows here and there now that you are making it into the spotlight? I have a place in Cleveland you can play if you ever want to…
Sure, here and there. If you can put up 6 people (me, band and crew) after the Flogging Molly show in Cleveland, I’ll play a set there as well. Deal?
Sweet! So you still do house shows?
I still do a fair few of them – I’m playing a house show in Toronto tonight actually. It’s something that’s easy to put together, so it’s always an option.
Obviously there is more to Frank Turner than just yourself. Can you tell me about the backing band that helps you out on the album and tours?
My band [members] are amazing, and I’m really excited about them coming to the USA for the first time next month with Flogging Molly. It took me a while to get the line-up right, I wanted the best, and also a set of people who would gel together well as musicians. We finally got the chemistry right at the end of 2008, and we haven’t looked back. They’re all amazing musicians, much better than me, and they’re great at helping me get ideas out of my head. Plus they’re cool guys.
Any reason there is no actual band name like “The Frank Turner Band” or “Frank Turner and the…whatevers”?
You know, we’ve spent a long time talking about this, I really want a name for them – I don’t want them to be faceless sessionistas or whatever, they’re a band, you know? But we’ve struggled to find something everyone agrees on. The Contraband has been doing the rounds recently, and the 161 Band (a reference to where we used to rehearse and where I recorded my first album) but we’re still tussling over it. Some day.
The video for “The Road” to me was an amazing concept. 24 shows in 24 hours? How difficult was that to shoot?
Logistically it wasn’t so bad, we had a schedule and we stuck to it.
Physically it was a little more challenging. We did 8pm-8pm, and by time we hit around midday, everyone was fucking drained and unhappy, haha. It was pretty miserable for a few hours there. But we burned on through, and we made it to the end. It was a good experience.
Any plans for another music video off your latest release?
We did a tour video for the song “Poetry Of The Deed”, which you can find on YouTube. Then I think I’m making a video for the song “Isabel” when I’m in Los Angeles next week.
Last year you appeared in an alternative 90’s compilation and covered UK’s Kerbdog. Why Kerbdog? “Sally” is a great choice as a cover for a band that never really made it in the states.
I love Kerbdog, they were such an awesome band. I was actually asked to record a song for a Kerbdog tribute album, which I did, and then we decided to use it for the 90s thing as well. Great song, and apparently Cormac thought I did a good job too, which is cool.
You also covered a Bruce Springsteen song at one time. Have you heard any feedback from The Boss himself about your version of “Thunder Road”?
Not directly, though I know Brian Fallon [of the Gaslight Anthem] put a copy of the 7 inch into the Boss’s hands, so he has to be aware of its existence, haha. I’d be very excited to meet Springsteen, he’s a real hero for me.
Speaking of The Boss you are headlining a show at Asbury, NJ on Feb. 24th. Can we expect to hear about any special guests?
I wish, haha. We shall see.
How does it feel to be a part of the Epitaph family?
Great. It’s a label that I grew up with and that has an amazing roster now, so it’s a cool association. And now I’d count a lot of the people I work with as close friends. They’re very effective at promotion and so on.
So yeah, I’m very happy about it, all in all.
Can you tell me about a certain tattoo you got in Texas while at SXSW?
Haha, uhm, well… I’d been there for a few days and had some great shows, basically sealed the deal with Epitaph, had a lot of old friends around, that kind of thing, so I was in a good mood. I had one day where I had no shows to play so I got wicked drunk with the guys from Fake Problems, we went to see Van Pelt do a one-off reunion show, which was pretty emotional for me. Anyways, after about 14 hours on the booze I ended up in a tattoo parlour with Casey Lee, and we both got Texas tattoos. Seemed like a good idea at the time.. I was a little dismayed at first but I quite like it now. It has a good story with it.
Any regrets in life?
I do my best not to. I’m still sad that Million Dead never quite achieved what I thought we were capable of. Beyond that, not really.
What’s next for Frank Turner?
I’m on tour most of this year, it looks like, all over the world, which is great. I have a rough ambition to get another album recorded before the end of the year, so we can get it out in early 2011. We’ll see. The songs are coming together, it’s more a question of finding the time to record it properly. I also want to do an album of traditional English songs sometime. Keep myself busy.
Why should someone check out Frank Turner?
That’s not for me to say, really. Why not?
Catch Frank Turner playing with Flogging Molly on the Green 17 Tour on March 5th, 2010 at the House Of Blues on Euclid Ave. Rumor has it the show is sold out but if you look hard enough online you might be able to find a ticket for a decent price. I will be there.
I also should mention that Frank Turner is serious about the house show and I am going to be working my magic trying to find a suitable place for him and his crew to play a set as well as crash for the night. If any of you readers in the Cleveland area know of an appropriate spot where Frank Turner can play a house show please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have a few places in mind but am open to suggestions. Keep in mind the set he plans on playing would be after the Flogging Molly show. If this falls into place I will also be looking into filming it for the site.
Keep your fingers crossed!!!
If you do not own Poetry Of The Deed yet you really need to have it in your collection. CLICK HERE to order it (or the album cover below) and if you are wondering why you should own it CLICK HERE to read the review I did of it last year.
Then again you can just watch the following too…
Stay tuned for possible house party featuring Frank Turner!
Oh and if you have never heard of Kerbdog and were wondering what they were all about…
November 12, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA – FLOGGING MOLLY has added FRANK TURNER as main support on most of their annual countdown to St Patrick’s Day – the 2010 Green 17 Tour. In addition, the band has announced a new date on the Green 17 Tour in Rochester, NY at the Main Street Armory on February 28th, 2010.
Flogging Molly’s 2010 Green 17 Tour tour is in it’s sixth year running and brings fans the release of the band’s new single and video for “Punch Drunk Grinning Soul” from their latest album FLOAT.
Tickets for the entire Green 17 Tour go on sale to the general public this weekend through normal ticket outlets! Presale tickets with a reduced ticketing service charge are on sale now for the entire tour at http://www.floggingmolly.tickets.musictoday.com
HERE ARE THE 2010 GREEN 17 TOUR DATES:
2/9/2010 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues^
2/10/2010 – Houston, TX – House of Blues^
2/12/2010 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall^
2/13/2010 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle^
2/14/2010 – Tampa, FL – The Ritz^
2/16/2010 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues^
2/17/2010 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues^
2/18/2010 – Charleston, SC – The Music Farm^
2/19/2010 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore^
2/20/2010 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues^
2/22/2010 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva^
2/23/2010 – Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live!^
2/25/2010 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theatre^
2/26/2010 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory^
2/27/2010 – Boston, MA – House of Blues^
2/28/2010 – Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory^
3/2/2010 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom^
3/3/2010 – University Park, PA – Robeson Center Alumni Hall/ Penn State Univ.*
3/4/2010 – Columbus, OH – LC Pavillion^
3/5/2010 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues^
3/6/2010 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore^
3/8/2010 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room^
3/9/2010 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s^
3/10/2010 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant^
3/12/2010 – Milwaukee, WI – The Eagles Club^
3/13/2010 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom^
3/14/2010 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater*
3/15/2010 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom*
3/17/2010 – Tempe, AZ – Tempe Beach Park*
I just viewed a clip of an amazing video taken from a Bruce Springsteen live show recently where he brought punk rock legend Mike Ness on stage to play “Bad Luck”. Have you seen it?
This was just another one of those random concert highlights made possible by a live show with a performer who had a good idea for the evening and the fans who were all in attendance that night now have ultimate bragging rights as they can say “I was there.”
I have always been a fan of live shows and will always be. It’s one of those things in life that I enjoy doing and can not see myself quitting anytime soon. The atmosphere alone with screaming fans and endless smiles makes the experience worth returning to. I love being a part of the evening and telling friends what I saw the next day followed by a bold “I was there” bragging statement about something only the ticket holders that night got to see before anyone else.
I admit I do not attend as many shows as I used to but I still make an effort to hit a few local venues and festivals every year just to keep the momentum going. If a band I am a fan of rolls through town I do what I can to make arrangements to get to the venue that night to see them.
When not driving downtown to see shows I like to occasionally listen to a live show from the comfort of my home. It’s easy to say I would rather be in a packed club listening to live music as the experience is like none other, but sometimes just hanging out at home is good enough as well.
Having a decent collection of live albums I thought I would narrow things down a bit and ask myself:
What Are My Top 10 Live Punk Rock Albums?
What Are My Top 12 Live Punk Rock Albums?
Twelve is much better of a number to work with where there is so many live CDs to choose from.
Sure I could have a top live shows list from all genres but that would take me forever. As a music lover there are a ton of recorded shows out there that I own or have listened to that have had a huge impact on me. I think it would be best to start with baby steps with the genre of music that means the most to me; punk rock. I also decided to keep it to actual releases by record labels and include no bootlegs (although I have some amazing live shows that never were released…)
After pondering this question for a couple of days I soon realized how hard this was for me to answer. I had a nice sized list of live shows in my head but found it was no easy task to narrow down. For the record, this was a very difficult list to compile for me as a fan. There are so many other bands that deserve to be on this list but these top twelve mean the most to me.
In no particular order I here are my top twelve live punk rock CDs:
Social Distortion – Live At The Roxy Mike Ness and crew always put on a good live show and this CD is listening proof. Having been a long time fan of this band it was clear that this CD needed to be on my list. Mike Ness more than a punk rock legend, the guy, to me, is a god and will be playing his heart out on stages all over the world until he is 100 years old. I will never grow tired of this CD ever.
NOFX – I Heard They Suck Live Without a doubt this was one of the most entertaining live CDs I have ever heard. I remember buying the cassette and playing it over and over memorizing even the talking in between songs. NOFX puts on a fine show as well featuring all sorts of independent hits. I find it humorous that I list this CD directly after Social D because this show was played at the Roxy as well to a crowd of rowdy fans. If you have not heard it you are missing out, unless you are not a fan of NOFX.
The Clash –From Here To Eternity Live Ok I am sure you are wondering why this album has a big line through it. Truth is I loved this CD for years until I heard a recent live release…
The Clash –Live At Shea Stadium Now before you all jump on me and remind me that this CD is just The Clash (minus the original drummer) playing more popular songs hear me out. This show was not even a headlining show (they were opening for The Who) and the year was 1982; right about the time The Clash was headed on a downward spiral the would lead to the dismissal of the group. The set was shorter than their other live CDs but to me it was a great listen start to finish. I have listened to this CD a lot since it was released and it has made me reignite my love for one of the greatest punk bands of my time.
The Dead Kennedy’s – Live At The Deaf Club Just thinking of how this shoe was recorded in 1983 still amazes me. My first and only taste of a live performance by this band was when I heard the improv “Night Of The Living Rednecks” on Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death. I was sucked in by Jello Biafra’s method of story telling on this track and of course a fan of The Dead Kennedy’s so it was more or less a bonus to me when a full length live CD was finally released. It also kills me that I was 2 years old when this concert took place. I’d love to hear from someone who was at this show just to hear their personal experience.
Ramones – Loco Live Do I really need to explain myself here? Over thirty quick punk rock classics on one CD from the band that started punk rock in the states. I don’t think many folk can disagree that this CD belongs in anyone’s live punk CD list. It’s not top quality but it sure is fun as hell.
Bad Religion – Tested This CD was not added into my collection for quite some time mainly because the CD was not readily available locally to me. Once I did get my hands on it though it became one of my favorite CDs to listen to by Bad Religion. I loved how the band recorded this CD, by plugging directly into their mics which in turn eliminated a lot of the crowd making for a more solid listen. With a solid setlist and exceptional performance by the punk rockers this is one of my favorite love CDs out there.
Flogging Molly – Alive Behind The Green Door This Irish punk rock act is, without a doubt, one of the greatest bands to see live in my opinion. One thing I love about this disc is that it was released before any of their studio albums and recorded at Molly Malones, the bar where this band got their start. There are not a lot of bands out there that have followed this approach by releasing a CD full of songs that later would be studio recorded on to various releases over the years. The performance is clearly under the influence but ever so much fun.
Misfits – Evilive The recording of this live show is horrible yet I love it. It is about the closest listen I have ever gotten to true live Misfits from back in the day. I did once witness the Misfits when Michael Graves took over the singing duties but it was no Glen Danzig and spite the good time I had it was not a genuine Misfits experience. This is a show I only dreamed of saying “I was there.” Full of classic songs, I also loved hearing Henry Rollins guest sing on “We Are 138.”
Death By Stereo – Death Alive Many people may have not heard this CD when it first released as it was first given out for free with issues of the Volume 3 issue of Law of Inertia magazine in 2003. In 2007 the live performance was reissued by the band as Law Of Inertia went out of print and many fans missed out on this incredible recording. If you are a fan Death By Stereo or just good wholesome hardcore punk you really should check out this CD. This benefit show is full of so much energy I am surprised no one was hurt in the recording of it.
Face To Face – Live: Face To Face Trevor Keith and crew have always had a special place in my punk rock heart. I love this band, always will, and this CD is listening proof of how great they are. The songs are all raw and full of energy and just impress track after track. When I think of a live album that I could listen to over and over again this is the one.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Live From The Middle East Ska is not dead, never was, never will be. Ska may not be very popular these days but if you are a fan of the genre I suspect will be making a comeback soon, I am sure you know who the Bosstones are and very well have heard this CD. The performance contained in this CD makes it worthy of multiple listens. Such a great CD from beginning to end.
Against Me! – Americans Abroad!!! Against Me!!! Live In London!!! Singing and shouting and good times for all on this CD. If you only have New Wave in your collection I think it would be best to put that down and go out and find this CD. I find myself singing along as if I were actually at the show while listening to this CD. That to me is a good live album.
Again, this list was so hard to compile. I would make a list of a whole bunch of band’s live CDs and then start crossing them out once I thought of another. I am sure I will be hearing from a lot of folk telling me I missed someone and at that time I will smack myself in the head and hate myself for 9 seconds because I forgot about a phenomenal show. I am ok with that though because I know there are a lot of awesome shows out there. A lot of artists can be put in this list but after all, it is my top 12.
I’d love to hear what your top 12, 10, even 2 are! As music fans we are entitled to what we like and sharing the love for music is a great thing.