New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
FRANK TURNER today announces details for a 19-date US headline tour in support of his forthcoming eighth album, NO MAN'S LAND out August 16 on Xtra Mile Recordings/Polydor Records. Produced by the GRAMMY® winning Catherine Marks (St. Vincent, Local Natives) and featuring an all-female cast of musicians, NO MAN'S LAND is an album dedicated to telling the fascinating stories of 13 women whose incredible lives have all too often been overlooked. The album is accompanied by a new 13-episode podcast series called Tales from No Man's Land. Two episodes have been released thus far. The tour dates will see Turner put a new twist on his formidable live set up, featuring a solo set followed by an unplugged band performance in seated venues.
Speaking about the format, Turner says; "For this tour, I thought it would be good to give the new album some proper attention, so the first set of mine of the night will be a solo run through some of those songs and stories; once the Souls are up with me, we're playing around with a slightly more stripped back, thoughtful folk approach to some of the older material, which feels different and powerful. Looking forward to sharing a slightly different show with everyone for this run." Pre-sale tickets for the tour go on sale this Wednesday, July 17 at 11am ET. General ticket on-sale begins Friday, July 19 at 10am (local).
The women featured on the album's 13 tracks come from across wide geographical and historical lines. There's Byzantine princess Kassiani (The Hymn of Kassiani), Egyptian feminist activist Huda Sha'arawi (The Lioness), and Resusci Anne (Rescue Annie), an apocryphal drowned virgin whose face was used as the model for the medical CPR mannequin across the world ("You can't not write a song about a woman who died never having been kissed and then became the most kissed face in history," reasons Turner). There's the serial killer from the Deep South who plucked her victims from lonely hearts pages (Nannie Doss), the jazz-obsessed heiress who fought for the Free French (Nica Rothschild), a rowdy coach house landlady from 17th century Camden Town accused of witchcraft (Jinny Bigham), the Wild West vaudeville star shot by a smalltown outlaw (Dora Hand). These are just a few of the fascinating characters who feature on No Man's Land and have long been ignored by the mainstream.
"It's bringing together my two main interests in life, which have always been separate from each other - history and songwriting," explains Turner, who can be found seeking out long-forgotten historical sites on self-guided psychogeographical strolls when he's not packing out arenas or headlining festivals.
Despite the record's implicit feminism, it doesn't see Turner's clambering onto any kind of soapbox. "It's not telling anyone what to do or how to live or how to be," he explains, prepared for a variety of different reactions to the project, including those who might be wondering if it's really his place to be singing songs of disenfranchised women. "If there was a crowded field of people writing songs about Princess Kassiani then I would see the argument for me bowing out, but there isn't," he states. "No-one else is writing these songs right now. That's why I want to share these stories."
NO MAN'S LAND also includes perhaps the most revelatory song of Turner's career. Written in tribute to his mother, Rosemary Jane honors her grit and determination through the harder parts of his childhood.
No stranger to appearing on other people's shows, Turner's own podcast "Tales From No Man's Land" takes a deep dive into each song, like a sonic Cliffs Notes. Produced in collaboration with Somethin' Else content agency, it sees Turner talking to historians and experts at places important to the women on the record, from Jinny Bingham's coach house - which is now Camden's Underworld
venue - to Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame which only last year honored Rosetta Tharpe, the Dodge City's Boot Hill Museum and Southwark's Cross Bones graveyard. Each finishes up with Turner singing an acoustic version of the song. "I'm not someone who believes in the supernatural, but there's definitely an imprint when you're at the place that was important to them," says Turner. "It feels like a nice honoring, and a way to say 'hey, we're still thinking about you'."
FRANK TURNER - UK SUMMER TOUR DATES
3 - Wickham Festival, Fareham
4 - Tunes in the Castle, Exeter
9 - Cropredy Festival, Cropredy
22 - Cottingham Folk Festival (Solo Show)
25 - Greenbelt Festival, Kettering
FRANK TURNER - US FALL TOUR DATES
8 - Montreal, QC - Corona
10 - Toronto, ONT - Queen Elizabeth
11 - Jersey City, NJ - White Eagle Hall
12 - Scranton, PA - FM Kirby
14 - Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
15 - New York, NY - Town Hall
17 - Chicago, IL - The Anthenauem
18 - Minneapolis, MN - The Pentageous
20 - Kansas City, MO - Liberty
21 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theatre
23 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot
25 - Sacramento, CA - Ace of Spades
29 - Phoenix, AZ - Ikeda Theatre
30 - Albuquerque, NM - Kimo Theater
1 - Dallas, TX - The Majestic
2 - Houston, TX - Revention
4 - Nashville, TN - James
K. Polk Theatre
5 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
6 - Tampa, FL - Palladium