I saw Million Dead once, you know.
It was back when I was a student at Derby uni, and my friend’s housemate’s band Dragonflies Draw Flame were playing a support slot, and so off I went. Of course, I was there for the support band, so I wasn’t that bothered about Million Dead at the time… But anyway, the two main things I took from that evening are these:
- Million Dead are (sorry, were) one of the loudest bands I have ever heard play live (seriously, it took days for my hearing to get back to normal!)
- Their lead singer is pretty cool though (and yes, I know it’s shallow, quite nice looking too)
Little did I realise at the time that ‘that lead singer guy’ would one day become one of my biggest influences.
The boys from Dragonflies Draw Flame were kind enough to let my friend and I dump our coats in the dressing room, and I remember going to get our stuff after the gig and wanting to speak to both bands, but letting my stupid teenage shyness get in the way. I think I just stood there and smiled – hopefully sweetly, but if I’m honest, I probably looked like an idiot – and couldn’t think of anything to say.
I didn’t think much of it for quite some time – Million Dead broke up, which I heard about and thought “that’s a shame, they were alright” – until one day my friend, I’ll call him G, handed me a home copy of Sleep is for the Week and said “I think you’ll like this”. G is someone whose opinion is pretty much spot on as far as music is concerned, so I took the cd home and listened to it… and listened to it and listened to it. To this day, it’s my favourite Frank Turner album – there’s just so much passion in those songs.
Not long after, I heard that Mr Turner was playing at Moles in Bath. Moles Club is a lovely little venue, and the opportunity to see my new favourite band (ok, artist) up close could not be passed up. I will always remember that gig for several reasons: The guys jumping up and down going “this is the tenth gig we’ve been too!”, the atmosphere of a small venue, the way that Frank connected with the crowd, the way that he was behind the merch stall eating pizza while the support act was on, G putting his hand on my back and gently forcing me to go and talk to him (I bought Campfire Punkrock and Frank signed it. Yay!) and the overwhelming feeling of being part of something new and exciting, something shared, something somehow bigger than this crowd in this cramped little venue.
After that I was hooked. Frank Turner, to me, is everything I would like to be in my own music – honest and passionate, clever but unpretentious. My hero.
So, kind readers of my little blog, I pose a question to you. Who are your music heroes, and why? Answers on a postcard (well ok, in the comments then!).
An addition: I just realised that I posted this without any of Frank’s music with it… so to demonstrate my point, this is Frank Turner playing a cover of The District Sleeps Alone Tonight by Postal Service.