Earlier this week Frank Turner played a special, invite-only Jack Rocks show at Chadwick End Village Hall, just outside of Solihull, in the Midlands.
The venue was decided upon after a Jack Daniel’s nationwide competition with 24,000 entries. The winner got the chance to have a private show near their house, with Frank Turner, Tom McRae and JD Smith taking to the tiny stage on a blustery evening.
“These are the words I’ve been longing to say my whole life – Good Evening Chadwick End!,” said Frank Turner as he clambered onto the stage.
Musically, things started soft, with the plaintive strumming of ‘The Angel, Islington’ – from his most recent album ‘Positive Songs For Negative People’ – following a brief apology for its London-centric lyrics.
The show was far more casual than Turner’s current tour of big UK venues. Instead of his usual smart white stage shirt, he sported a tee brandishing the giant face of a tiger. Grr.
Chatting with the audience – which numbered a teeny, tiny 80 – Turner told the crowd that his 2013 album ‘Tape Deck Heart’ was “all about me being an arsehold to my ex-girlfriend”.
It’s competition winner Michelle! Frank Turner played a rousing cover of Queen’s ‘Somebody To Love’ after inviting the local lady to the stage.
The show was put on by Jack Rocks, who host small gigs across the country, and are also involved with NME’s annual search for Britain’s Best Small Venue. The winner of this years BBSV will be announced on NME.com next Friday (Nov 27).
Four songs into the set, Turner decided he was going to ignore his planned setlist and instead played a handful of deep cuts and old tunes, including ‘Cowboy Chords’, ‘Worse Things Happen At Sea’ and ‘Vital Signs’.
The Queen cover lead to the kind of sing-along probably not seen at the Village Hall since the local church group last got to grips with ‘Kum Bay Ah’.
At every show Frank Turner tells the crowd which number gig he’s playing. Chadwick End marked his 1,787th show since going solo ten years ago, after leaving hardcore band Million Dead.
Turner will be releasing a 10th anniversary boxset soon. Speaking about the release at the show, he commented it was “so I can pretend to be Neil Young for five minutes.”
Frank Turner is currently on tour in the UK, finishing up with a huge show at London’s Alexandra Palace on November 26.