Frank Turner thinking positive as he gets set to return to North East

Singer-songwriter Frank Turner is returning to Newcastle.
Singer-songwriter Frank Turner is returning to Newcastle.

Thinking positive appears to be paying off for singer-songwriter Frank Turner as it’s given him his second No 2 album in a row.

His many fans in the North East have plenty of reasons to be cheerful too as he’s heading back this way next month.

His show at Newcastle University’s students’ union on Saturday, November 14, will be his fourth solo date overall but his first there for six years, though he has played at the city’s O2 Academy twice and Northumbria University students’ union in the meantime.

Tickets, priced £25, for his university show have long since sold out but might be available from other sources at much-marked-up prices.

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Skinny Lister and Will Varley will be supporting.

The 33-year-old, born in the Gulf state of Bahrain but brought up in Hampshire, has also played at the city’s Tyneside Cinema and Cluny and Trillians venues over the years and is looking forward to returning.

What would have been his biggest gig in Newcastle, a slot alongside Echo and the Bunnymen, Feeder and Calvin Harris at 2011’s Ignition Festival at Gosforth’s racecourse never came to pass, however, as the ill-fated one-off event was called off at short notice.

“I’ve been coming to Newcastle as long as I’ve been doing UK tours, and it’s always been a good city for me,” he recalled.

“I remember playing the university with Million Dead and being blown away by the support act, the as-yet-unknown Yourcodenameis:Milo, who went on to become friends and touring buddies of ours.

“The last-minute show at the academy in 2011 after the Ignition Festival got cancelled was pretty special too.”

Turner makes a point of playing in out-of-the-way places from time to time – such as Sunderland’s old Pure bar, Newcastle’s Dog and Parrot pub and Hartlepool’s Jax bar in 2006, Stockton’s Arc and Playhouse Whitley Bay in 2011 and Hartlepool Borough Hall last year – rather than sticking to the same circuit of big cities, and he intends to continue venturing off the beaten track, he says.

“I grew up in Winchester, which is off the beaten touring track,” he said. “I think it just shows a modicum of understanding and respect for your audience.

“As much as they might be the bigger cities, not everyone lives in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

His sixth and latest album, Positive Songs for Negative People, released in August, is an upbeat and rousing affair, and that, he says, was a conscious effort to up the tempo after its predecessor, 2013’s more subdued Tape Deck Heart, also a No 2 hit.

“Tape Deck Heart was an introspective, difficult record, I feel, and I wanted to do something different, both sonically and lyrically, this time around,” said Turner.

“I don’t really write to get crowds going per se. I just try to write good songs. Hopefully people in the crowd agree.”