AS Frank Turner celebrated his record breaking 10th consecutive year at Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, I spoke with the veteran, taking a look back over the last 10 years…
Way back in 2005, Frank Turner first ventured to Reading and Leeds Festival as the frontman for the now dismembered Million Dead.
Ten years, six albums, and 1,956 shows later, he is made the special guest of honour as he breaks the world record for the most consecutive festivals played.
Describing the achievement and coming to terms with the scale of what he has accomplished, the singer songwriter says: “It feels great. It’s an achievement I’m proud of.”
Reminiscing over the years, Turner reveals his first experience of Reading and Leeds came when he first visited in 1995.
“It was a major turning point in my life,” says Turner. “I felt like I found my tribe, a place I wanted to keep going back to.”
With a decade to reflect back on, Turner says a definitive moment is yet to happen.
“It’s not really for me to say,” he begins, “at the end of the day, I don’t get to decide that”.
As the years have passed by, Turner reveals a few songs have slipped away from his set list due to the tracks carrying deep meanings.
“I don’t play ‘Anymore’ much, it’s not a kind song, it was hard to write and record, and I still have my reservations about it.
“Lexy [God Save the Queen] was a close friend, and I miss her; it’s been a long time now since she checked out, I kind of like the way the song keeps her current in my life.
“Josh’s [Song For Josh] passing is more recent, and thus more raw”.
As the 34-year-old continues to commit to constant performances, any real Frank Turner fan will tell you of his love for tattoos.
“They all have their stories, their attachments,” he says.
“They’re like stickers on a suitcase, to me, markers of places and times. I don’t believe in cover-ups, as it goes.
“I’m happy to bear the consequences of my choices.”
With Reading and Leeds being such a pivotal moment in his career, fans will be keeping an eye out for any possible new ink following the weekend’s action.
With the number of shows tallying an impressive total of 1,957 (straight after Leeds and Reading he flew out to Winterthur in Sweden) I asked Turner if there are any signs of slowing down?
“Hell no,” is his stern reply.
By Nathan Smith