Show #21 for me. Show #2047 for Frank Turner. And it’s been an such an amazing one. I met old friends and made new ones. I danced a lot. I sang so loud that I’m still hoarse two days later. It was lots and lots of fun and a very special night.
The location was the smallest I ever saw Frank play in. About 200 people. Or maybe even just 150. After having seen Frank in 2014 at the sold out O2 in London with 20.000 or so people or even at his sold out biggest (so far) show in Germany, with 4.000 people at Palladium last January, this was almost ridiculous. But so very awesome. Strasbourg is located just a few miles from the German/French border and it was a Friday night, so many fans came over for the gig and I bet half or even 2/3 of the audience were not French. Frank still mostly talked French on stage at least for the first half or so, until he mentioned his old friend Cham from France, who had booked this tour for him, and that he had promised him to practice his French. But as this was the last night he felt it was ok to switch to some English again. Cham was a great guy as well. He’s the guy with the beer in one of my photos below ;-) He was such a huge fan himself and you could see him sing and dance and film at the side of the stage until at some point he ran over the stage, jumped down and stayed with us in the front row for a while. Next to me singing and dancing. Which was so much fun to see.
I don’t speak any French, but after 20 shows I’ve heard the stories to most of the songs so I could figure out what Frank said in French mostly. It was funny, that that he insisted to do the very very long introduction to “The Way I Tend To Be” still in French, because “I‘ve practised to tell this story in French for so long!” ;-) Keywords for me were of course “Australie”, “Koala” and “odeur d’eucalyptus”. It was so weird and so hilarious to watch him tell this story in French. As a special treat for the many German fans, we were treated to a world premiere: A “trilingue” set. Just like I expected Frank sang “Substitute” in French, with the help from Cahir, who held the paper with the written lyrics. But after that Frank did “Eulogy” in German. He has done it so often by now, that he obviously has memorized the German lyrics, which was pretty neat to see. The rest of the set was pretty great as well. He played the acoustic “Glorious You” which by now I love much more than the full band version. He also played “Love, Ire & Song”, because he had released that album exactly 9 years ago, on the 31st March 2008. All in all I was surprised (even though knowing Frank I shouldn’t have been) that all he needs to rock a venue is his guitar and his voice. It was amazing how well a lot of the songs work even without a full band. Speaks volumes about him as a songwriter AND performer, I think and I’m very glad and grateful that I had the chance to experience it. Frank also played a new song, which he had just finished writing that day: “21st Century Survial Blues” and it was a great tune with great lyrics and it made me really excited for the new album, which he plans to record later this year and hopefully release early 2018.
“Mittens” was the last song before the encore, so Frank said “Usually I would leave the stage after this song, but the dressing room is too far away. So instead of going there to hide for 30 seconds I’ll just steal some of Cham’s beer, stand at the side of the stage for a while and let you request more songs, ok?” Which was exactly what happened and it was hilarious to watch.
Of course I was hoping to have the chance to catch Frank after the show this time and I did. We did to be exact, there were about 20-30 people waiting in front of the venue, where the bus was parked. And Frank was his usual lovely, kind and patient self. Signing stuff, taking photos, chatting and everything. I honestly hadn’t planned to take yet another photo, but my long time hairdresser insisted I did. Don’t ask, its a long story ;-) The photo turned out quite lovely, so I’m actually grateful that she made me do it. The group of old and new friends I was with, actually also ended up taking a group photo with Frank and Cham and Sam and Forest. During which these guys started singing a song in French for some reason. LOL
Frank talked about the Lost Evenings with us for a bit and he also mentioned that there will be a German edition of his book and possibly a few “talk about the book” evenings as well, which I really hope will happen, because I very much enjoyed the two evenings (Cologne 2014, London 2015) I heard him talk about songwriting or the book. So, there is quite a few exciting Frank stuff happening this year, even though I might not see him play as many shows as I did last year. To tide me and you over, here are a bunch of my photos.