When I updated my “About Page” a few weeks ago, I wrote that that even though the blog title is from a Frank Turner song, this blog won’t be all about him. But who cares what I wrote a few weeks ago, right :-)?
Frank released a new B-sides, rarities collection, “The Third Three Years” some time ago. Over a week ago I started writing a long review with comments on all the songs, but never posted the review, because it was boring as hell. But I still felt and feel the need to talk about at least one song in particular, because I am so in complete awe again. I don’t know if that makes me a pathetic fangirl or Frank just the greatest singer/songwriter ever. Maybe a bit of both. Just kidding.
So, the song that took my breath away – which might be a strange thing to say about this song – was “Riot Song”, about the London riots in the summer of 2011. Because to me that song is Frank Turner at his core. In a nutshell. Whatever you want to call it. And I might be totally or partially wrong about that, but it’s just how I see it. How I see him, I guess.
A guy with a guitar, just singing about something that matters to him, something he cares about. Something he has an opinion about, and even though I might not share his view of the world to all extent, I really like that he so openly speaks his mind about politics and social issues and such and that he so often does it so very spot on.
From the mere musical point of view it’s not the best song he has ever written, but I’m still happy that he wrote it and that he captured the mood of these days in the summer of 2011. I don’t know. To me it feels like he just had to write it and share these thoughts and feelings and I love him for it. Period!
But it shouldn’t be their problem anyway,
it’s a battle on our doorsteps, and it won’t just go away,
so if you give a single damn about the city where you live,
you’ll step up now and ask what you can give.
Because these kids they are our neighbours, and our children
and if they say that they don’t give a damn,
it’s up to us to show them it’s a problem,
to steal the shit you want just ’cause you can.
You can (and should!) listen to it here…
Quick thoughts on other highlights on this compilation. I also really loved his cover of “There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner”. If I were British I probably would have know about Noel Coward, but as I’m not a Brit, I didn’t. Thumbs up to Frank for transforming this song so brilliantly and making a song from 1952 still work in 2014, even though in a fast-paced folksy version. But I guess the lyrics still (or again) work just as well in the 21st century….
I also was once again impressed how differently Frank can interpret his own material and still make it sound awesome. Or more exactly, how he can make it sound awesome on a whole new level, which still makes me wonder if I prefer the “old” or the cover version. I’m talking about two songs here.
The slow piano version of “The Ballad of Me And My Friends”, which I had already known since my first ever Frank Turner show (September 2013 in Bremen), where he dedicated this song to his friend Josh, who had died a few days earlier. And the other song, of course, is the hard core punk version of “Dan’s song”, which originally is one of my favourite songs in it’s simplicity, with just Frank and his guitar (and during a show often a fan or a friend or his mum *g* on stage with him playing the harmonica). But this song works perfectly in the punkrock version and I just love it!
The rest of the album… Some good, some ok, some “bad” i.e. just not really my thing (Yes, “Broken Piano”, I’m looking at you. Still not a fan. Sorry). But that’s ok. These four songs I mentioned here and a few more make more than up for some of the stuff I didn’t like. If you might want to check it out… Spotify is your friend…