I first heard of Frank Turner a few years ago via FM 107.1, a small Ann Arbor radio station. They were playing a couple of his singles from his album Tape Deck Heart and for the time in my life I was going through, the songs perfectly matched my moods.
I loved ‘The Way I Tend to Be‘ with it’s cutting lyric “love is about all the changes you make, and not just three small words“.
And I loved ‘Recovery‘ : “broken people can get better if they really want to…or at least that’s what I have to tell myself if I am hoping to survive“.
So recently I was browsing my community library website to reserve a book and funnily enough, I saw a blurb about Frank Turner and his new book and an event notice – he was coming to the main branch of our library to do a small acoustic show and a book signing. For free! Now, I love music but don’t tend to go to live shows because one, they’re expensive, and two, I don’t love crowds, and three, the crowd thing and the large venues tend to ruin my absorption and enjoyment of the music. It just doesn’t feel personal. Yes, it can be awesome to share the energy and joy with an enormous group of people, but just not enough for me to brave the other aspects to go to a show. But a small, acoustic, free event at a library? That appealed instantly to my geeky heart and made Frank Turner all the more appealing to me. He was in town to do a show at Freedom Hill and made time a few hours before the show to come to a library? Okay, love this guy.
In person, he is quite lanky and yet without the sharp Mephistopheles angle of his promo pic. Wearing a shirt that said ‘Sad Songs Make Me Feel Better’, he ambled onstage with his guitar and a big grin and proceeded to charm the room for over an hour with breezy, self-effacing commentary and song after song. He didn’t play my two faves, but I didn’t really expect him to. He seemed the sort of musician who wants to play things that he really likes and some new songs, too, and not just retread the glossy singles that are the only ones that a casual fan (okay, me) might know. It was a great afternoon and I was introduced to some new songs to love, and a new lyric that seems more appropriate for the time of my life now: “the journey’s brought joys that outweigh the pain“.
Let’s hear it for more musician / library combos!!