Sunday, November 15, 2009

Frank Turner: Song to Bob Dylan (Maida Vale)

Frank Turner is a fierce performer. He combines the self-deprecating word-play and vocal style of eighties Billy Bragg, with the myth-building grandeur of seventies Bruce Springsteen and that lone finger-pointer with an acoustic guitar attack of early sixties Bob Dylan. But for all that history, he remains every bit a part of the binge-drinking, text-sending Britain of the 21st century. Dismiss him as another damn singer-songwriter or saddle him with the Voice of a Generation Curse (as CNN foolishly tried to do) or you can just accept Turner's self-designation of his work as, "campfire-punk". After all, when he played in Winnipeg in September, bottom-billed to Murder by Death, the Loved Ones and the Gaslight Anthem, he drew a tightly-packed crowd who were singing along within moments, as if there was a roaring fire right there in the room.

On this BBC session, Turner, backed by a full band, twists one of Dylan's earliest originals, "Song To Woody". Here, Turner revises the lyrics to turn the tribute back on Bob as well as "Springsteen, Cohen and Neil Young too" (as Dylan name-checked, "Cisco and Sonny and Leadbelly too"). Maybe Turner chose those names, song-writers who successfully shook off Dylan comparisons, to state that he has no intention of living in the shadow of any other performer.

(Frank Turner - Song to Bob Dylan)

Also in this session you get raw version of the anthemic single, "The Road" from his new album Poetry of the Deed and a faster, electric take on the poignant death-bed mediation "The Queen" from his break-through album, Love Ire and Song.

{MRML readers leave us a comment with your opinion on the whole Frank Turner phenomenon.}

D/L Frank Turner Live at Maida Vale

Please support the man:
Epitaph Records


  1. Turner will be in my top ten of the year--and my top 20 of the decade.

    Awesome artist.

  2. good stuff---- looking forward to hearing the ep. thanks!

  3. As a man who is very, very wary of any individual standing alone with his or her guitar ("Do you want to hear my new song? No? Well, here's another three I wrote.") Frank completely stole the show in 'Peg city. I'm so glad we went early Head Master Jeffen and, once again, I'm in your debt.

  4. ekko
    Good call, He's on my year's top ten as well (obvious, I know) but I'm hesitant to commit to doing a best of the decade - it just seems like too much to cram in. We shall see...
    P.S. I don't read comics much theses days but I've been following your best of lists anyway and I'm considering getting that Franklin Richards comic you mentioned for my six-year old son.

    Glad you liked, I too heard about him from someone on my blog roll but damned if I can remember who now.
    Thanks for the link!

    I remember your comment after he finished, "Well we've already seen the best song-writer of the night".
    You're wariness of individuals with guitars is well-founded - there's no mediocrity like solo mediocrity.

  5. jeffen, here's a little something for ya. Dunno if you've heard/got this's Frank Turner and Brian 'Gaslight Anthem' Fallon doing Billy Braggs New England. Enjoy or Destroy!

  6. Jeffen, i just posted stivs very rare pre lords of the new church lp over at my blog. "the wanderers" i just wanted let u know. in case u didnt have it. it is a must for any lords fans.

  7. Nuzz
    Thanks for the song: now why didn't they do that when I saw them?

    Good choice, that Wanderers album is great, especially that cover of Dylan's "The Times They-are-a-Changin'" (I even dedicated part of a post to it once.)


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