I have finally figured a list of the things that I’ve got,
And the things that I’m not.
(Sea Legs ~ Frank Turner, 2008)
For some reason going to a Frank Turner show in 2016 seems to bring on some heavy introspection later on. It’s kind of fascinating for myself to be honest.
After having been to five shows of the German tour in January I wrote a lengthy post about the difference of being a fangirl 15 years ago to being one now. Following fan “reports” on his European Tour this April on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and flying up to the Stockholm show myself now brought on some more thoughts on being a fan. Pondering what makes a typical fan or an atypical fan and if that distinction even makes sense.
I know fans come in a variety of dedication and motivation and willingness to do “crazy” things like travelling a long distance for a show and going to a couple or even every show on one tour. Volunteering for the tour flag. Being in the front row at the show. Trying to catch Frank and the Souls afterwards… all this various kind of fangirl (and -boy, of course) stuff. I admit I’m one from this very dedicated variety and by now I’ve met quite a few others at shows and online.
Before I continue I should state that none of these others – similar to me or even more dedicated – fans makes me feel the way I feel (at least not intentionally, I hope). And the following is just how I perceive it and how I feel about it. Some of these feelings probably – well, most definitely – stem back to some self-esteem issues. Again.
The thing is: I feel more and more like I’m not the typical Frank Turner fan. That I’m quite different from the ones, I’ve met at the shows or the ones who I notice being active on social media. Different for several reasons:
I’m not “in the music scene” so to speak. I don’t go to a lot of gigs. (Frank gigs notwithstanding *g*). I often don’t know and honestly don’t care about the newest, coolest band/singer on the scene. Not right away and in many cases not ever.
I’m rather mainstream (pop/rock/folk) in my musical taste.
I can’t stand hardcore music! Every once in a while I really want to give Frank’s former band Million Dead or his side project Möngol Hörde a new chance. Then I listen to one of their songs on Spotify or Youtube and every freaking time I have to turn it off mid-song, because it gives me a headache!
Crowdsurfing (at a Frank Turner or any other show) is not an item on my bucket list.
I don’t care about vinyl! At all.
I don’t have any tattoos.
I don’t drink (or just rarely and moderately). I don’t smoke. I’ve never ever tried any drugs and I don’t plan to in the future.
I like travelling and going to new places, but I like the comfort of my own home even more. I’m not cut out for life on the road and can’t imagine following the band for a whole tour. I’ve also always been more of a high maintenance traveller. I need my single room with a bed and private bathroom. Not to mention that I like to save my vacation days for a relaxing vacation and tour life is anything but relaxing.
Reading this list “of things that I’m not”, might make you wonder how I could fall – as a fan – for a guy like Frank Turner who is all these things and more. I guess it speaks volumes about him as an artist that his music, his lyrics, his stories can pull in people from all over (age, interests, stages in life….). Not to mention that he just is such a lovely, humble, decent person.
The thing though about the dedicated fans I’ve encountered so far, is, that I often get the impression, that they are a lot like Frank himself. And I’m not. At all. Which sometimes makes me feel like I don’t quite belong. Which is stupid, I know, because who actually determines that? These other fans don’t. And Frank certainly doesn’t either. He’s the most inclusively thinking artist I know. At least he is the one artist I hear talking most about how his shows are for everyone and that he appreciate everyone who is coming to the show and so forth.
I’m not sure there really is a point to this blog post. It was just something that was on my mind these past few days after I’ve returned from Stockholm. Thinking about how I get along fine with many of these other dedicated Frank Turner fans at the show, but how I don’t feel like they are really “my people”. Thinking about how apart from the very few fans I’m chatting with a bit regularly via Twitter and/or have met in real life I haven’t quite found a lot more with whom to connect on more than just the love for this one artist.
I guess, I just hope I will find some more of my Frank Turner people someday…