Frank Turner crowns Britain’s Best Small Venue with JD

The singer played a two-hour show at Southampton Joiners, recently voted Britian’s Best Small Venue by NME in association with Jack Daniel's JD Roots

The Joiners Arms in Southampton celebrated being voted Britain’s Best Small Venue by NME in association with Jack Daniel’s JD Roots last night (24 June), with Frank Turner headlining a two-hour gig.

The performance included a variety of material from the singer’s five studio albums, the first of which ‘Sleep is for the Weak’ was played in its entirety as part of a lengthy encore. The Hampshire-born musician has a long history with the venue. “I saw my first gig here as a spotty 15-year-old teenager”, he said while on stage.

Frank Turner’s previous band Million Dead also played their final show at The Joiners Arms in 2005. He played two shows on his birthday in the venue last December to help it overcome financial difficulty. “I love this place. To see the venue win this prize makes me about as happy as I can possibly be,” said Turner after the show.

Turner explained his decision for playing debut album ‘Sleep Is For The Week’ in its entirety: “It just seemed like a fun thing to do and it seemed appropriate given the whole thing about supporting underground music.”

The sold out 200-capacity crowd comprised of competition winners who were unanimous in their praise of the gig. “Words can’t even describe how happy I am,” said Narida Bell, from Brighton, after the show. “That first album was the reason I fell in love with Frank and I didn’t think he’d ever play ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Friends’ Again.”

Jack Grace, from Southampton explained why he thought the venue a worthy winner: “There’s a great atmosphere here. The staff are brilliant too. It’s great to see Frank supporting smaller venues and helping music on a grass roots level. This place has some amazing shows on every week. It’s definitely a worthy winner.”

Head to to see all the pictures, exclusive tracks and interviews from this year’s campaign.