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Frank Turner on playing 50 US states in 50 days: “It was brutal”



Frank Turner has spoken to NME about the “brutal” experience of playing shows in 50 US states in 50 dates.

The punk troubadour told us how he became the third artist ever (and first non-American) to complete the challenge of playing 50 states in the space of 50 days, after George Thorogood did so in 1981 and The Melvins in 2012.

Speaking to NME from an airport in Hawaii after he and his band The Sleeping Souls finished the trek this week, Turner described his mood as “shell-shocked”.

“I had the idea of playing 50 states in 50 days prior to the pandemic, and it’s been on ice for the last little while,” he said. “In the context of post-pandemic touring, it seemed like a cool way to hit the ground running and a re-statement of intent.

“I’m on my ninth record and my 17th year of touring as a solo artist, and this isn’t a bad thing to have a hook to hang a tour off.”

Frank Turner played 50 US states in 50 days. Credit: Supplied

However, Turner revealed that the tour didn’t come without its fair share of obstacles.

“Insanely enough, I actually got COVID for the first time immediately before the tour,” he said. “I basically had zero recovery time, which made the start of the tour particularly brutal.

“For that reason, I had to play some two-show days in order to buy travel time down the West coast of the country. Those two-show days were genuinely quite front-loaded, so I recovered from COVID, jumped on a plane, and then did something like 20 shows in 12 days. That was brutal. It would have been brutal at any point of my career, but after having had two years off and having turned 40, that proved quite challenging!”

He went on: “We also had some scrapes on the tour. Our bus driver got very sick at one point, which meant we nearly missed the Salt Lake City show. My new drummer got food poisoning in Montana, which meant that the Seattle show ended up being a solo show rather than full band, literally at the last minute. He was throwing up a lot.

“Me and my crew are sitting here in this airport, slightly shell-shocked that we made it.”

The former Million Dead frontman, currently on the road in support of his 2022 Number one album ‘FTHC‘,  revealed that he learned a lot from experiencing so many different audiences across the US.

“It’s extremely important to say that I experience America through a particular prism, which is the prism of the people who want to come to my shows or people from the hardcore community,” he said. “It would be overstating my case to say that I’ve seen all of America. I’ve seen one very specific slice of America.

“There are states where we do better than others. We had 3,000 people in Boston, and I would say much less than that in Arkansas. We’ve had our ups and downs, but I’d say that I feel privileged to have seen as much of America as I have. Contrary to what a lot of Americans think or what the news cycle would have you believe, Americans have more in common that what divides them.”

Turner added: “Again, maybe that’s through the prism that I see the country through, but I find something reassuring in that.”

Frank Turner played 50 US states in 50 days. Credit: Supplied
Frank Turner played 50 US states in 50 days. Credit: Supplied

Asked about his own personal highlights and favourite states/shows from the jaunt, Turner replied: “The most pleasant surprise of the tour was Mississippi. I had extremely low expectations, but we had a phenomenal show. I went to South Dakota for the first time in my life and had a wonderful time.”

Speaking of his standing as the third artist in history and first ever non-American to fulfill the mission, Turner remained humble.

“Obviously there’s a degree of bravado in this and a lot of the way that I tour,” he said. “I like to think that I’m self-aware enough to realise that it doesn’t really matter on some levels. I could quite easily have not have done this, and the world would keep turning on its axis.

“At the same time, it does feel pretty cool. It’s a line on my CV, and a tattoo that I got on my leg yesterday. It’s an achievement that’s quite rare and I am quite proud of that.”

And what challenge will he be setting himself up for next?

“You know, in all honesty, I have looked at the logistics of attempting to play every county in the UK,” he replied. “There are loads of them, and the UK’s not really big enough to justify it. I have been examining other political and historical subdivisions to see if any of them make any sense for a tour. We are going to play every Canadian province next year and next time we play Australia I’m planning on playing every territory.

“It’s a fun way of ensuring full coverage, but at this particular moment in time, I’m particularly excited about going home and turning my phone off!”

Frank Turner returns to the UK for a headline tour in September through to October. Visit here for tickets and more information. 


Watch The Killers cover U2’s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’



The Killers have covered U2‘s classic ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ – watch footage below.

Singer Brandon Flowers told the crowd at the band’s concert at Uncasville’s Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on Friday (March 17) that they wanted to honour U2 on St Patrick’s Day.

“Do you know why we celebrate St Patrick’s Day?” began Flowers. “We bring with us an Irishman everywhere we go. He’s been doing lights for us for about 17 years, Steven Douglas.” Flowers added, “Where are you at, Steven?” as he tried to spot the lighting designer.

He continued: “But even long before we had met Steven – we all love U2 – and they had the little album called ‘The Joshua Tree‘. We thought, since that’s sort of the common denominator of this band, you know, we all can agree that U2…,” he said, trailing off to walk towards other members of the band. “We’re all agreed upon U2, fellas? [They were important] when we first started.”

Flowers said they were “gonna to do a little tribute to them – Christianity coming to Ireland and U2 singing about unity – here tonight,” before singing over the opening notes of the 1987 track.

The lyrical themes in ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ centre on religion, identity and unity. U2 singer Bono is reported to have been inspired to base the song on the idea that it’s possible to identify a person’s religion and income based on the street they live in [via Genius].

In other news, The Killers were earlier this month announced as headliners for Bourbon & Beyond festival 2023 alongside Brandi Carlile and Bruno Mars. The four-day event dubbed the “world’s biggest bourbon and music festival” takes place at Louisville’s Highland Festival Grounds in Kentucky from September 14 to September 17.

U2, meanwhile, recently released the album ‘Songs Of Surrender’, which is described as a “reimagining and re-recording” of 40 of their tracks. Read NME‘s three-star review here.

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Daryl Hall to support Billy Joel at this year’s BST Hyde Park



Daryl Hall is set to perform at the 2023 BST Hyde Park festival later this summer, as a special guest headliner Billy Joel.

The Hall & Oates singer will join the singer-songwriter onstage for his live appearance at the London Festival, which is set to take place on July 7. Tickets are available now.

As previously announced, BLACKPINK will make their UK festival debut headlining their own day at British Summer Time, as well as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing two nights, alongside headline appearances from Guns N’ Roses, Take That and P!nk, supported by Gwen Stefani.

Daryl Hall. Credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images

Alongside his guest appearance with Joel, Hall is also set to perform at a newly-announced headline show in London. Taking place at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo on July 9, the show will see the singer perform alongside his House Band and special guest, Todd Rundgren. Tickets go on sale at 10 am this Friday – available here.

Last year, Elton John performed at the event as part of his ongoing Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, as well as The Rolling Stones, who returned to the event for two sold-out shows and paid an emotional tribute to late drummer, Charlie Watts.

Adele, Eagles and Pearl Jam also appeared as part of the line-up, as well as Duran Duran, who treated the London crowd to a run of their greatest hits.

Duran Duran at BST Hyde Park 2022
Duran Duran at BST Hyde Park. Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Last year, Daryl Hall also confirmed that he was once asked to sing for Van Halen – as a potential replacement for frontman David Lee Roth.

“I knew those guys really well,” he said. “David [Lee Roth] had just left the band, and Eddie [Van Halen] asked me, ‘Do you wanna join Van Halen, man?’

He continued: “He was half-joking, but I think he was serious. I really do believe he was serious, and I took it seriously. I said, ‘Man, I think not. I think I’ve got my own shit going on.’”

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Radiohead to release new material in “next couple of years”



Radiohead‘s drummer Philip Selway has said that the band will release new material “of some sort” in the “next couple of years”.

  • READ MORE: Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ – The Biggest Talking Points

In January, Selway said that he and his bandmates would be meeting up early this year to start putting things in motion. “We’re going to get together at the start of [2023], and I’m sure we’re going to start looking at other ideas for what comes next,” he said.

Now, the drummer has told Prog Magazine [via MusicNews]: “We’re always talking about stuff. But in terms of an actual kind of collective project, beyond the ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’ stuff that we’ve been doing [2021’s ‘Kid AMnesia’ reissue project and interactive exhibition], it’s kind of further down the line for us when that will happen. We’re talking about that, but at the moment everybody’s doing their own thing.

“When the pandemic happened, we’d always planned to take a veer off from Radiohead around that, so we could get on with other stuff. But that just meant that those other projects kind of grew, so we’re allowing time for all of those projects to go where they need to. But yeah, we’ll get together soon and in the next couple of years there will be something there, of some sort.”

Philip Selway. CREDIT: Phil Sharp.

Radiohead’s last album was 2016’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool‘.

Elsewhere, the drummer, who recently released his second solo album under his own name, ‘Strange Dance’, revealed that he’s already working on its follow-up.

Asked if the next record is taking shape, he said: “It is, actually. You get to the end of one project and can’t see beyond that for a little while, but it’s led by the ideas that you’ve got coming as well. To do a solo record you need songs and they are starting to happen a bit more now. So yeah, I would love to.

“When I first started doing the solo stuff, I was just thinking of it as a trilogy of records and didn’t really project beyond that.

“I certainly didn’t think I’d end up doing soundtrack work or any of the other stuff. And in some ways, I guess ‘Strange Dance’ feels as though it’s completing that initial cycle. And it feels wonderful to be at that point.”

Phil Selway and Thom Yorke of Radiohead (Photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images)
:Phil Selway and Thom Yorke of Radiohead (Photo by Andy Sheppard/Redferns via Getty Images)

Last summer, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien discussed the band’s future, saying: “It might happen, but the other thing is… it might not. And does that matter?

“There’s no Radiohead at the moment,” he added. “There’s a truth to what we do, so we’re not going to be one of those bands that gets together for the big payday.”

In other news, a mash-up of tracks by Ice Spice, PinkPantheress and Radiohead has gone viral after being shared on Twitter.

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