Part Man, Part Poet – Frank Turner Returns to South Africa

Touring Troubadour

Unfortunately this tour was subsequently cancelled due to the Corona Virus. We hope to see you soon Frank.

The last time Frank Turner performed in South Africa it was in an open field in a park and the sun was blazing down so hard it made it look like I had tears in my eyes. That’s what I tell everybody. One of the best shortest, punchiest live shows I have seen in my life, and we are so happy to welcome him back. We quizzed him about tour life, Billy Bragg and his wife.

So great to see you’re coming back to South Africa. What was the best thing about your last trip? Any special South African moments that you remember fondly?

I was just absolutely stoked to be able to come down for some shows at all. I’m still slightly surprised that I get to travel around the world and see new places (to me) just because I play the guitar. The shows were a blast and I made some great friends. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to come back, but I’m excited about the upcoming shows.

What is on your playlist at the moment? Any new stand out bands or groups that are influencing you or rocking your boat?

Recently I’ve been listening to Hobo Johnson, Clowns, Chris Wood and Bec Stevens. Among many others.

Tell us your favourite joke

Where did Saddam Hussein keep his CDs? In Iraq.

What do you think is the most important thing we as human beings can do to try save the planet?

I’m not sure I’m super qualified to answer the question to be honest. I do my best to be informed and considerate of my impact on the world, but I’m happy to follow other, cleverer people’s lead on that.

What is Billy Bragg like? Tell us a secret about him

Billy is a lovely guy, a diamond. He’s a curry fanatic.

You’re only going to be in SA for a few days, if you had a month to spend here on holiday where would you go and why?

I’d likely ask for local advice, but I did come through on holiday when I was a kid and visited the Drakensberg mountains and absolutely loved it, so I’d likely go hiking there.

What are your favourite songs off the new album ‘No Mans Land’ and your favourite songs of all time to play live?

From No Man’s Land, probably “The Lioness”, though I’m proud of all of them. Beyond that, well, I like it when a song gets the room moving or singing, so anything that makes that happen.

What are your thoughts on touring? Do you ever get tired of it or is it still a novelty you love?

It’s what I do, and what I have done with the vast majority of my adult life. There’s not much that’s novel about it per se these days, but I love being on the road because new things happen most days. It makes life take longer to go by.

Favourite Book and last few books you have read? and why?

My favourite book is probably “Cultural Amnesia” by Clive James. An absolute tour de force which bears multiple repeat readings, and consistently makes me feel uneducated, which is a motivating thing. Recently I’ve been reading Jared Diamond and Philip K Dick.

Write us a haiku about your wife

I cannot believe

Such an incredible soul

Actually said yes.


12 April, 2020 at Splashy Fen Music Festival, KZN.

13 April, 2020 at Rumours Rock City, JHB alongside The Shabs & Jay Bones. Tickets available here.

15 April, 2020 at Mercury Live, CPT alongside The Shabs & Sam Chalcraft (UK). Tickets available here.