On 27th July 2012 Frank Turner played the biggest show on Earth when he performed at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Hand-picked by the Artistic Director for the ceremony Danny Boyle, Frank played three songs as part of the event to an estimated audience of almost 200,000 people in the stadium over 2 nights of rehearsals and the opening night itself as well as the staggering 25 million viewers on the BBC.
Frank says: “Being asked to play the Opening Ceremony was something I never imagined was going to happen in my wildest most feverish dreams; but the fact that Danny Boyle asked me personally, as a fan, convinced me to do it. It was a pretty terrifying prospect, but I was very happy to be part of it, it is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
This was a great example of the phenomenal achievements Frank has made throughout his 7 year-long solo career. In April 2012, Frank Turner headlined a sold out Wembley Arena in what was the largest gig of his life. This career defining show took place less than two years after his first appearance at Wembley in June 2010 supporting Green Day at the enormous Stadium across the way. And since then – Frank has seen his life change beyond recognition…
On 6th June 2011, Frank stormed the UK Album Charts going in at Number 12, with the release of his fourth studio album ‘England Keep My Bones’. Recorded in Crouch End’s stunning Church Studios, Frank laid down fifteen tracks with his band The Sleeping Souls - Ben, Nigel, Tarrant and Matt - and producer Tristan Ivemy for a record with a quintessential English sound, a nostalgic homage to his homeland, friends and family.
With the acoustic guitar very much at its core, the album is more folk orientated than predecessor ‘Poetry Of The Deed’ and includes an a cappella song done in a traditional English style. Featuring contributions from ex-Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay, folk singers Emily Barker and Chris T-T, and Unbelievable Truth’s Andy Yorke, he covers themes of mortality, relationships and religion in what is a bold, ballsy yet beautiful album. Spawning 4 singles – ‘I Still Believe’, ‘Peggy Sang The Blues’, ‘If Ever I Stray’ and ‘Wessex Boy’, it is Frank’s most successful album to date, selling over 100,000 copies worldwide and reaching silver status.
That summer, Frank embarked on a season full of UK, US and European festival appearances: headlining the Third Stage at Download Festival in June, headlining Blissfields Festival in July to a show-stopping and triumphant Main Stage performance at Reading and Leeds Festival in August. Since then he has been winning over the hearts and minds of North America on full band tours ripping it up across the States and Canada before returning to the UK and Europe for his biggest headline tour ever, with sold out shows at Manchester Apollo, Birmingham Academy and the famous Hammersmith Apollo in London. And that’s not to mention the two awards Frank won at the inaugural AIM Awards – Best Live Act and Hardest Working Artist.
It’s a far cry from his tentative beginnings five years ago when, after the demise of previous band Million Dead, Frank took to the road as a fledgling solo artist armed only with an acoustic guitar. With a DIY work ethic, and a passion for plying his trade with integrity and honesty Frank toured up and down the country playing backs of pubs, people’s front rooms and anywhere else that would have him. With a handful of catchy folk/country/punk songs and enough charm and charisma to win over any crowd, he amassed more and more fans and a fevered cult following soon formed.
With the support and backing from Indie label Xtra Mile Recordings in the UK, Frank has slowly but surely blossomed from an underground hero to a bona fide mainstream success story. And this is now starting to be echoed internationally by releasing albums ‘Poetry Of The Deed’, ‘Love Ire & Song’ and the anthology ‘Last Minutes & Lost Evenings’ as well as touring with the Offspring and Social Distortion.
It’s been a long journey but Frank’s path to total world domination continues apace.
Expect great things…