Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Looking Back from the Olympics to Mr. Smalls Theatre, UK Artist Frank Turner Gives New Meaning to Touring

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Looking Back from the Olympics to Mr. Smalls Theatre, UK Artist Frank Turner Gives New Meaning to Touring

Article excerpt

Tonight's show at Mr. Smalls Theatre in Millvale will be British singer-songwriter Frank Turner's landmark 1,265th solo show.

This must be significant because Mr. Turner tracks each of his shows -- as well as the number of nations (34) and states (37) -- on his website, frank-turner.com. (No West Virginia stops yet.)

It's a pretty impressive list, especially show No. 1,254, which was the part of the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Games.

Of course, he and his band, the Sleeping Souls, might have gotten a little lost amid all that Olympic hoopla, but it's still something to say you performed before a live audience of almost 80,000, with a television audience of millions.

London Opening Ceremony in July. Millvale in September.

Mr. Turner is huge in his home country, having sold out Wembley Arena. His media information paints him as passionate and independent, a "charismatic young British troubadour" touring with "his rousing brand of literary folk punk."

Born in Bahrain 30 years ago, Mr. Turner grew up in England, where he attended Eton College at the same time as Prince William. Afterward, they went their separate ways. Prince William had a big wedding and is in training to be a king. Mr. Turner joined the post- hardcore band Million Dead on guitar and vocals and, according to Wikipedia, has been dubbed "the people's prince of punk poetry."

After a pretty good run, Million Dead broke up in 2005, and Mr. Turner was suddenly solo. He told interviewers he enjoyed playing music and touring. But that whole "being in a band thing" was just too much hassle.

Thanks in part to the Internet, his popularity has soared. He's toured the U.S., opening for The Offspring, Green Day, Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys. On his own, he usually plays in smaller venues such as House of Blues clubs or as part of festival lineups.

You can learn a lot about an artist by tracking the gigs, which Mr. …

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